Nets Forward Kevin Durant will not play on Sunday against the LA Clippers, according to Head Coach Steve Nash.
Durant will miss his fourth straight game with a strained left hamstring.
Durant has been sensational so far this season after missing the entirety of last year with a torn achilles, averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in his first 19 games as a Brooklyn Net. He’s lived up to his reputation as the most efficient high-volume scorer in league history, posting splits of 52.4% / 43.4% / 86.9%, for a true-shooting rate of 65.2% (the highest of his career).
The Nets have been able to survive in Durant’s absence, winning all three of the games he’s missed thanks to their redundancy of superstars. James Harden and Kyrie Irving can each carry an offense, and the Clippers will still have their hands full dealing with them despite Durant’s unavailability. Unlike their last matchup, in which the Clippers lost 124-120, LA will have All-Defensive Guard Patrick Beverley to throw at one of Harden or Irving.
On the other end, Durant is by far the Nets’ best defender, and would’ve likely guarded one of Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. For all their offensive talent, the Nets have a dearth of versatile perimeter defenders. Leonard, George and Lou Williams should all look to capitalize on Durant’s absence and attack defensively-challenged players like Irving, Harden and DeAndre Jordan.
Durant was the Eastern Conference’s leading vote-getter for the NBA All-Star game, and as a result will be the team captain opposite the West’s leading vote-getter in LeBron James.
While Clipper fans are probably pleased that Durant will miss Sunday’s game, fans of basketball everywhere can agree that the NBA is exponentially more exciting with Durant healthy and terrorizing the league. Here’s hoping he’ll be returning to action shortly.