Brooklyn Nets All-Star SF Kevin Durant will return to the lineup Saturday vs. the Golden State Warriors. Durant was placed in health and safety protocols again after he came into close contact with a Nets staff member who ended up testing positive for Covid-19. Durant was pulled from last Friday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors mid-game. The superstar had already tested positive for Covid-19 and recovered last year. Earlier in the season he was forced to miss games due to health and safety protocols as well.
The Nets already stated that Durant won’t have a minutes restriction in his return. He only missed one week and returned to practice Friday, so conditioning shouldn’t be much of an issue. There’s also incentive for Durant to be a full-go in a revenge spot against his former team, the Warriors. This is the first game Durant will play back in the Bay Area since leaving the team after the 2019 NBA Finals.
The Nets struggled without Durant for parts of three games, dropping two of three in his absence. Brooklyn has had defensive issues, which should be helped by the presence of Durant. The Nets need to get on track at the start of a long West Coast trip which concludes next week with games against the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. With Durant back, it’s a slight downgrade for everyone on the Nets not named James Harden or Kyrie Irving. We’ve seen the Nets Big 3 operate fine in terms of DFS and fantasy basketball on the court at the same time.
The Nets also mentioned DeAndre Jordan (personal) will be out on Saturday vs. the Dubs. With Jordan sidelined, the Nets could go with a smaller look, starting Durant and Jeff Green in the frontcourt with Kyrie, Harden and Joe Harris. It’s either that or the Nets have to play someone like Noah Vonleh or Norvel Pelle off the bench for some size. Brooklyn’s depth is really being tested after it was gutted to acquire Harden.