Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, sidelined for a month by a hamstring strain, will be reevaluated by the NBA club next week but will need amp-up work before his return.
That was the word Thursday from Nets coach Steve Nash, whose team has won 10 of its last 11 games and only one of those triumphs came with Durant in the lineup.
The Nets rank 24-13, second by half a game to Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference. They have had Durant working out on the court but not taking part in full speed or 5-on-5 situations.
“Kevin is getting better all the time, has a scan next week, and we’ll assess him then,” Nash said. “But he hasn’t played in a month, so no matter what the scan says, there will still be an appropriate ramp up, trying to make sure we put him in a position to finish the season strong.”
Nets newcomer Blake Griffin, who signed with Brooklyn after Detroit bought out his contract, will face a similar wait to suit up for Brooklyn. He has not played since February 12.
“That comes down to assessing him and having a plan in the coming days to give him the best opportunity to finish the season strong as well,” Nash said.
“Although he’s been working out individually, we want to be cautious and make sure our plan is comprehensive for him to succeed as well. So a similar answer to Kevin.
“We just want to make sure we take a good, hard look and come up with a plan everyone agrees upon and gives him a great chance to have an impact.”
The Nets lead the NBA in scoring with 121.1 points per game and shooting percentage at 50.0%.