There are countless sayings in the sports world that a single player isn’t responsible for the success of an entire team, but Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant certainly feels like he is. responsible for dropping his team from the top of the Eastern Conference to narrowly secure a spot in the play-in tournament.
“To be honest, I feel like our season went off the rails because of my injury,” Durant said after Monday’s practice, via ESPN. “So I don’t see it as like we just aren’t a good basketball team. It’s like there’s not a lot of continuity between me and Kyrie. [Irving] out of range, that’s just what it is. When we’re all on the floor together, I like what we have.”
The MCL injury Durant suffered in mid-January wasn’t the only adversity the Nets have faced this season. Along with numerous injuries, they were one of the teams hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak in December which postponed several games – not to mention being without Kyrie Irving for much of the season as he was not vaccinated.
However, it can’t be ignored how badly Brooklyn has struggled without Durant in the lineup. In the month-plus he missed, the Nets went 5-17, including an abysmal 11-game losing streak. Even with Durant dominating on his return and the team having Irving in the mix full-time, there’s no denying that long stretch without the hulking forward on the ground hurting them in the standings.
Even though the team’s playoff future is uncertain with games on the horizon, Durant insists the Nets aren’t looking at the standings to see which team they could play.
“Whoever we play, we play,” Durant said. “I don’t care who we play. I don’t care if we’re in the play-in. Just swing the ball, [and] see what happens. That’s all you can control. It’s too stressful to think that you’re trying to dodge a team, line up, just play the game. We’ll see what happens.”
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