After missing the last three games due to a thigh contusion suffered against the Miami Heat exactly one week ago, Brooklyn Nets All-Star forward is back in action Sunday afternoon against the Phoenix Suns. This is obviously great news for a Nets team that is already without James Harden and in the midst of a battle for the top seed in the East with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Durant had just returned to Brooklyn's lineup last week after missing nearly two months of action with a hamstring injury, and can hopefully pick up right where he left off. He looked unstoppable in the first few minutes of Brooklyn's contest against the Heat last week, scoring the first eight points for the team early on before exiting with the injury. The Nets went on to lose that game, but won two out of their next three while he was sidelined.
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Nets coach Steve Nash offered some insight on their plan for Durant in his return: "We're not going to throw him out there and have him play 30-some minutes tonight or in the next two or three nights. But we definitely want him to play an appropriate amount where he can have an impact on the game and build his fitness."
The Nets currently hold a slim one-game lead over the Sixers for the top seed in the East, but Philly plays an easier schedule for the rest of the season, so Brooklyn will need all the help it can get if it wants to secure the top spot in the conference.
The Nets are as talented as any team on paper but they've been hampered by injury issues all season. Together, the trio of Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving has played just seven total games together, though they have been incredibly potent offensively when they have played together. Hopefully, all three stars will be fully healthy for the playoffs. Otherwise, that could be a serious issue in Brooklyn's quest to win a championship this year.