Kevin Durant has said he wants to play in back-to-backs this season, but considering he is returning from a torn Achilles Brooklyn was always going to keep him in bubble wrap. Kyrie Irving, who has an injury history, will get plenty of time off from Brooklyn as well.
Durant and Irving both will sit Monday, getting a night off when Brooklyn hosts the Memphis Grizzlies. Officially both will be out for “injury recovery,” but the better term would be load management. Brooklyn, off to an impressive start to the season, is thinking long term.
Durant and Irving played Sunday — combining for 54 points — in Brooklyn’s upset loss to Charlotte. Durant is averaging 26.7 points a game this season, and when he and Irving are paired the Nets are +32.3 points per 48 minutes (small sample size alert).
Durant sitting Monday was not a surprise, coach Steve Nash had said previously that Durant would get a lot of back-to-backs off early in the season. Nash even talked about the likelihood of Durant sitting on Sunday.
Nash said of KD sitting the 2nd night of a back to back “we want to protect him and protect us from any negative consequences.” #Nets
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) December 28, 2020
The decision to sit Irving came on Monday morning, Nash told reporters.