Nets HC Steve Nash on Kevin Durant Injury: 'We Can't Cry About It'

Erin Walsh

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

The Brooklyn Nets will be without superstar Kevin Durant for at least the next month after he suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee during Saturday's win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Prior to Monday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters that the team will have to do the best it can without him: 

"If they get a bunch of games together, great. If they don't, they don't. And we'll be playing the cards we're dealt, so it's a little bit out of our hands. We just have to do the best we can. We can't cry about it. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We got to keep building, see what we can learn, how we can grow during this period of Kevin being out and Joe [Harris] being out and how we can continue to move this thing forward so when they do come back, we're in a better place—and he can rejoin us in a place where we can feel better about where we are in that part of the season."

 ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Durant will be sidelined for at least four-to-six weeks. 

Durant exited in the first half of Saturday's game after Bruce Brown fell into his knee while trying to defend Pelicans forward Herbert Jones. Nash told reporters that he has since exchanged text messages with the 33-year-old, who is "disappointed" that he can't be on the court. 

Durant has been a staple in the Nets' lineup this season, having anchored the team with both Kyrie Irving and James Harden in and out of the lineup. Through 36 games, the four-time scoring champion has played more than 40 minutes eight times. 

Durant leads the team with 29.3 points per game and ranks second with 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He's shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from deep.

With Durant sidelined, the Nets will have to rely on Irving, who can't play in home games because New York City's COVID-19 vaccination mandate prevents unvaccinated individuals from entering indoor arenas, and Harden. 

Irving has appeared in only three games this season. He is averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from deep. 

Harden, meanwhile, has appeared in 37 games and is averaging 22.7 points, 10.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game. It's been his worst shooting and scoring season since 2011-12.

In addition to Harden and Irving, the Nets will need Brown, Nic Claxton and Blake Griffin to take on more minutes in Durant's absence. It won't be easy, but Brooklyn should be able to stay afloat until the veteran returns.