The reason Kevin Durant’s struggles post-injury aren’t concerning, per Nets teammate
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has had a bit of a hard time getting acclimated in his return from a hamstring injury that cost him nearly two months of the 2020-21 season. But his teammates aren’t worried.
Nets big man Nicolas Claxton said Monday there is little doubt a player of Durant’s caliber can get back on track:
“He’s arguably the best player in the world — He’ll be fine,” Claxton said, via Ajayi Browne of USA TODAY.
One look at Durant’s numbers would suggest he isn’t struggling much at all.
The former league MVP scored 17 points and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in his return against the New Orleans Pelicans last week, also adding seven rebounds and five assists. The Nets star then scored 22 points in Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, again chipping in with seven boards and five dimes.
But the turnovers have been a major concern, which might hint at Durant’s shaky comfort level.
The 32-year-old had six turnovers against the Pelicans. He had eight more against the Lakers and was minus-22 for the game in terms of plus-minus in an ugly Nets loss. That is hardly the kind of efficiency usually expected from Durant, particularly considering he played just over 42 minutes combined between the two contests.
Nevertheless, even the best players in the world need some time to get reacquainted after a long absence. Durant, it would seem, is no different.
The Nets remain tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn will look to bounce back with a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, and it seems likely Durant could see added minutes as he continues to build.