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Nets shorthanded, but Kevin Durant sits vs. 76ers 

Kevin Durant #7 of the Nets wears a

Kevin Durant #7 of the Nets wears a shirt supporting social justice before the start of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on April 13, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Credit: Getty Images/David Berding

Was there some kind of gamesmanship involved in the Nets' decision to hold Kevin Durant out of Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers?

Stranger things have happened, according to the Sixers' Danny Green.

"It might be a strategic thing for them," Green said. "I know in San Antonio, some games we didn’t play everybody so teams don’t know how to guard us, how to play us. But I just think for them, it’s unfortunate. They’ve had some injuries and they’ve had some guys with some family issues going on, but they’re a tough matchup regardless."

While Kyrie Irving returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game in Minnesota for family reasons, the Nets were incredibly shorthanded. The Nets had just 10 players available with Durant, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Spencer Dinwiddie, Tyler Johnson and now Chris Chiozza all inactive.

 

Chiozza, who started in place of Irving on Tuesday, had surgery Wednesday to repair a finger he broke in that game. There is no timetable for his return.

Nets coach Steve Nash brushed off any suggestion that he was trying to do something strategic by not playing Durant against the Sixers. Durant played 27 minutes Tuesday against the Timberwolves and it was decided to rest him on the second game of a back-to-back as he eases into a return from a hamstring injury.

"I think that’s one of those things, you can overthink it. How can we get an advantage?" Nash said. "So much will change and we’ll both be in a different place if we’re fortunate enough to meet in the playoffs, so don’t think we take too much away from it. It is an opportunity to see them, to feel them and get a little more of an understanding of how they operate. So much will change. . . . We're trying to see what we can do to continually improve every week and get a little bit better."

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