Now, he has sprained his right big toe.
Because of it, Durant will miss OKC’s game against the Kings on Monday night. The team said it will re-evaluate him over the next few days, with his status doubtful for Wednesday against the Grizzlies.
This setback could be unrelated to the others, but Durant might be moving differently as a result of previous foot injuries. He hurt his toe while falling in the Thunder’s win over the Hornets on Saturday.
If this sidelines Durant just a couple games, it’s not a big deal. But if this lingers or makes him more likely to get hurt again, it could be huge.
Durant is obviously one of the NBA’s top players, averaging 26.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. And those aren’t empty numbers. The Thunder are 21-7 when Durant plays and 3-3 when he doesn’t, their performance changing significantly when he goes on the floor to off:
- Offensive rating: 114.4 to 101.9
- Defensive rating: 99.3 to 101.8
- Net rating: +15.1 to +0.1
Russell Westbrook can shoulder a larger load while Durant is out, but that’s only a short-term solution. Oklahoma City needs both healthy to contend – which, not for nothing, would help convince Durant to re-sign this summer.
More immediately, the Thunder have a decent cushion behind the Warriors and Spurs and ahead of the Clippers for third place in the Western Conference. So, don’t expect much movement at the top of the standings as a result of this injury. But it could help two teams who aren’t playoff locks – the Grizzlies (inside looking out) and Kings (outside looking in).