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Will Kevin Durant play enough games to win MVP?

The Nets star is currently in the top 5 among odds to win MVP on DraftKings Sportsbook. Will being quarantined squash his quest for another award?

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center on January 03, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Wizards won 123-122. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets announced on Monday that superstar Kevin Durant was placed into health and safety protocols due to contact tracing for Covid-19. As a result, KD will miss the next seven days, which equates to four games. Durant will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 12 against the Denver Nuggets.

By that time, he will have missed five of the Nets 12 games this season. So that puts Durant’s max or games played this season at 67 games if Durant doesn’t miss any games. We can safely project that Durant will absolutely miss more games this season. With health protocols a factor and the superstar coming off a torn Achilles, the Nets were already going to play it safe with him. Brooklyn has four sets of back-to-back games in the first half of the schedule. We don’t know how the second half will shake out, but 4-5 sets to account for.

If we project this out, Durant probably plays around 55-60 games this season. As of now on DraftKings Sportsbook, Durant is +800 with the third-best odds to win NBA MVP this season. If he ends up missing around 12-15 games, there’s no way he would end up beating out a player who plays the bulk of the season. Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo haven’t really taken hold of the MVP race as favorites. Both should miss a few games here and there but still project to play 60-plus games, much more than KD.

Durant was having a strong start to his season, but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. The Nets are also 3-4 right now with KD having missed one game. So really the team is playing .500 ball with KD in the lineup. The Nets ultimate goal was always to win a title this season. So with that in mind, keeping KD and Kyrie fresh for the postseason is top on the priority list. So while Durant’s play and odds jump early on may look appealing. It’s hard to back him for MVP at this number knowing he’ll miss a good chunk of the season.

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