Brooklyn’s “Big Three” has been more of a “Pick Two” throughout the 2020-21 season.
Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have only played in seven games together since Harden joined the Nets in January. Just when it seemed the stars would finally align for Brooklyn with Durant on his way back to the court, Harden went down with an injury, preventing coach Steve Nash from putting out his best lineup.
The Nets haven’t exactly been struggling, of course, as they are 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 only 21 games remaining before the start of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
Here are the latest updates on Durant and Harden.
Will Kevin Durant play vs. Pelicans?
Durant was upgraded from probable to available on Wednesday, setting the stage for the two-time NBA Finals MVP to take the floor for the first time since mid-February. Durant had missed the Nets’ last 23 games with a hamstring injury.
“The last month or so, it’s just been me working out every day, playing here and there with my teammates,” Durant said in a video posted from the Nets’ Twitter account. “Mainly just working out, just trying to stay ready, keeping my stamina up and sharpening up my skills so I can be able to transition back smoothly.
“It’s good to get a few of those sessions in before I went and jump into an NBA game. It’s been too long for me. I’m just excited to get back out there.”
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 Achilles injury.
Will James Harden play vs. Pelicans?
Harden left Monday night’s game against the Knicks with what the Nets called “right hamstring tightness.” The team announced Tuesday that an MRI revealed a right hamstring strain and Harden would miss at least 10 days.
MEDICAL UPDATE: James Harden underwent an MRI earlier today which revealed a right hamstring strain. Harden will continue to rehab the hamstring and will be re-evaluated in approximately 10 days. pic.twitter.com/Up1TXYaahQ
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 6, 2021
Since being traded from Houston to Brooklyn, Harden has emerged as an MVP candidate, averaging 25.4 points, 11.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game with the Nets.
Nets vs. Pelicans injury report
(Current as of noon ET on Wednesday; Pelicans have not yet submitted their injury report)
|Nets||Spencer Dinwiddie||Out||Right knee; partially torn ACL|
|Nets||Kevin Durant||Available||Left hamstring; strain|
|Nets||James Harden||Out||Right hamstring; tightness|
|Nets||Tyler Johnson||Out||Right knee; soreness|
|Nets||Landry Shamet||Out||Right ankle; sprain|