The Nets and Lakers head into their matchup Thursday night (10 p.m. ET, TNT) on hot streaks, with Brooklyn looking to extend its four-game winning streak and Los Angeles having won eight of its last nine games. Both teams are loaded with talent and are currently second in their respective conference positions. This contest could serve as a preview of the NBA Finals.
Well, actually, let’s hope that’s not the case because that would mean a couple of key players can’t dress up for the championship series.
While Nets guards Kyrie Irving and James Harden and Lakers forward LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis are expected to play, they will not be available when the teams meet at Staples Center in Los Angeles. KD and AD are dealing with injuries, making basketball fans wonder if Brooklyn and LA will intersect in full force before the end of the regular season.
So what is going on with each player? Here are the latest updates on Durant and Davis.
MORE: Key stats you need to know in the MJ vs LeBron debate
Why is Kevin Durant out against the Lakers?
The Nets announced Sunday that Durant would miss at least two games (Monday against Kings, Tuesday against Suns) after being diagnosed. with a slight strain of the left hamstring. He’s been receiving treatment, but he’s still listed as out of Thursday’s contest against the Lakers.
Durant will be out of the game for the sixth time in Brooklyn’s last seven games after missing three games earlier this month according to NBA health and safety protocols. He is averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in his first real season with the Nets after being out of play all of last season while recovering from an Achilles injury.
Despite the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and typical injury issues, Nets coach Steve Nash is optimistic his team will be able to weather the storm.
“I think the boys are getting used to it”, Nash said Tuesday. “We said it since the beginning of the year. This is how this year is going to be. It is a bit impossible during a pandemic and with a saturated calendar that things do not arise and that they arise almost constantly. I think the guys knew I understand that this is the kind of season that we were going to face and now they’re … a little numb.
“The challenge is for us to keep improving no matter who comes out each night. How can we improve on what we are trying to do to not give away games or weeks of the season? Address problems, solve problems and work towards a bigger goal.”
Why is Anthony Davis out against the Nets?
After Davis left the court during the second quarter of Sunday’s game between the Lakers and the Nuggets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Davis had aggravated his right Achilles tendonosis again, knocking him out of two games earlier in the month. Fortunately for Davis and the Lakers, the MRI results showed no rupture of the right Achilles tendon but it seems revealed a strain on the calf and confirmed tendonosis.
Davis will be reevaluated in two to three weeks, according to Wojnarowski, who added that it is “unlikely” that Davis will play again before the 2021 All-Star break. If he sticks to that timeline, Davis will miss at least nine games.
“For me, the only thing that matters to me is health.” James said when asked about Davis’ injury. “I want him to be healthy. Our team needs him to be healthy. You have to make sure you take every precautionary reason, everything, do your due diligence on what’s happening with your injury and be right when you get back.” .
“No rush, no schedule. We have no idea what that looks like, but we just want him to be healthy and regain full strength.”
Nets vs. Lakers injury report
(Current at 1:30 pm ET Thursday)
|Networking||Nicolas Claxton||Out of||Right knee; tendinopathy|
|Networking||Spencer Dinwiddie||Out of||Right knee; ACL partially torn|
|Networking||Kevin Durant||Out of||Left hamstring; tension|
|Networking||Kyrie irving||Probable||Lower back; oppression|
|Networking||Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot||Questionable||Right knee; pain|
|Networking||Reggie perry||Out of||League G; bidirectional|
|Networking||Shumpert magnet||Out of||Left hamstring; tension|
|Lakers||Antetokounmpo costs||Out of||Right knee; patellar tendinitis|
|Lakers||Anthony Davis||Out of||Right calf; tension|
|Lakers||Lebron James||Probable||Left ankle; sprain|
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.