Kevin Durant was active for the Nets on Saturday night when they took on the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. It is just his second game back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for 23 games this season.
Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash said prior to the game on Saturday that while Durant would not be on as heavy a minutes restriction as he was in the previous game, he didn’t plan to overload the 2021 All-Star.
The Nets want to be cautious with how they manage Durant coming off back-to-back long-term injuries.
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KD Posterizes Andre Drummond
From the looks of it, Durant is back like he never left.
In the second quarter KD dropped the hammer on the Lakers’ two-time All-Star Andre Drummond and Durant’s mom Wanda Durant was absolutely loving it.
WATCH OUT FOR KD 🔨
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 11, 2021
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Durant’s Return Has Impressed Everyone
Durant looks fresh coming off of a two-month layoff but he’s not new to this he is true to this.
Coming off an 18-month layoff after tearing his Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant returned this season and did not miss a beat. He was a lot of people’s leading candidate for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Durant’s seemingly effortless transition back to the court has surprised the likes of two-time All-Star Blake Griffin.
“After missing two months and then coming back and looking that comfortable, it’s just crazy,” Griffin said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “But in terms of playing with him, players like that, some of the guys we have, they just make the game easy.”
Nets Have Struggled With Consistency
Despite Durant’s impressive return, the Nets got pulverized by a short-handed Los Angeles Lakers team on Saturday as they fell hard 126-101 to the defending NBA champions.
The Nets already came into the game short-handed themselves as they are still without their leading Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden. To make matters worse Kyrie Irving got ejected in the third quarter after a heated exchange with Lakers starting point guard Dennis Schroder.
Kyrie Irving and Dennis Schroder were both ejected after getting into it during the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/i2UEyKba3m
— ESPN (@espn) April 11, 2021
Saturday’s loss to the Lakers was the worst loss of the season for the Nets. It is the second time this season they have lost by 20 points or more. The other loss was to the league-leading Utah Jazz when they were without Harden, Irving, and Durant.
What does the big loss say about the Nets? As good as they are, Brooklyn still has a lot of work to do in terms of consistency. Earlier this season the Nets at times would take it easy on lesser teams and make it harder on themselves to win games. It is one of the points that the Nets have improved upon during this impressive stretch, but against Los Angeles, they reverted to their old habits.
Consistency and winning a championship go hand in hand. If the Nets hope to be on top at the end of the season they have to make sure that they bring it every night.
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