Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant will not play in Monday night's game against the Memphis Grizzles after the Nets fell to the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.
However, Durant indicated Sunday he will attempt to play back-to-backs throughout the season:
“I definitely want to be able to play back-to-backs,” Durant said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “We’ll see. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”
It would hardly be a surprise for the Nets to be overly cautious with respect to Durant's status. The former league MVP is still only just returning from a ruptured Achilles suffered in June 2019, and any organization would look to protect its investment in a star of Durant's caliber.
There is obvious precedent in this regard. The Los Angeles Clippers often rest Kawhi Leonard for at least one leg of back-to-backs last year. However, the NBA also has a new resting policy this season, and Durant is also eager to be on the floor.
The 32-year-old has already looked dominant in his return. Durant is averaging over 26 points per game while also shooting nearly 70 percent from beyond the arc. He has looked equally bouncy and skillful thus far, and the fit alongside Kyrie Irving has been rather seamless. The Nets were dominant in their first two games of the season before losing to the Hornets on Sunday.
Brooklyn figures to need Durant to play at least some back-to-backs, both because of the new resting policy as well as Spencer Dinwiddie suffering an ACL injury. The Nets will likely jostle for playoff positioning all year, and Durant's impact on the game is too great for him to routinely sit down just for resting purposes. Being healthy for the playoffs is obviously more important, but KD wants to opportunity to play as much as possible.