The Brooklyn “Big Three” has been more of a “Pick Two” throughout the 2020-21 season.
Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have only played seven games together since Harden joined the Nets in January. Just when it looked like the stars would finally line up for Brooklyn with Durant on their way back to the field, Harden suffered an injury, preventing coach Steve Nash from presenting his best lineup.
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The Nets haven’t really been in trouble, of course, as they’re tied with the 76ers for the best record in the Eastern Conference (35-16) heading into Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Still, Brooklyn would like to build some chemistry with just 21 games remaining before the 2021 NBA Playoffs start.
Here are the latest updates on Durant and Harden.
Will Kevin Durant play against the Pelicans?
Durant has been improved from probable to available Wednesday, setting the stage for the two-time NBA Finals MVP who will speak for the first time since mid-February. Durant had missed the last 23 games for the Nets with a hamstring injury.
“For the last month or so, I’ve been training every day, playing here and there with my teammates,” Durant said in a video posted to the Nets’ Twitter account. “I mainly exercise, I just try to stay prepared, keep my stamina and sharpen my skills so that I can be able to come back smoothly.
“It’s good to have a few of these sessions before I get into an NBA game. It’s been too long for me. I’m just excited to be back.”
In 19 games this season, Durant has averaged 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He missed the entirety of last season as he recovered from an injury to Achilles.
Will James Harden play against the Pelicans?
Harden left Monday night’s game against the Knicks with what the Nets called “tight right hamstring.” The team announced Tuesday that an MRI had revealed a strain in the right tendon and Harden would miss at least 10 days.
MEDICAL UPDATE: James Harden had an MRI earlier today which revealed a right hamstring strain. Harden will continue to rehabilitate the hamstrings and will be reassessed in about 10 days. pic.twitter.com/Up1TXYaahQ
– Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 6, 2021
Since being traded from Houston to Brooklyn, Harden has become an MVP candidate, averaging 25.4 points, 11.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game with the Nets.
Nets injury report against pelicans
(Updated at noon ET Wednesday; Pelicans have yet to submit their injury report)
|Nets||Spencer dinwiddie||Outside||Right knee; ACL partially torn|
|Nets||Kevin Durant||Available||Left hamstrings; strain|
|Nets||James harden||Outside||Right hamstrings; sealing|
|Nets||Tyler johnson||Outside||Right knee; pain|
|Nets||Landry Shamet||Outside||Right ankle; sprain|