Kevin Durant must’ve broken a mirror or walked under a ladder somewhere in his travels. The Phoenix Suns forward has had some of the worst luck with injuries the past few years and sustained yet another one Wednesday night. During pregame warmups, Durant slipped on the court and rolled his ankle before making his Suns home debut and could be out the remainder of the regular season.
This is one reason why the Suns, even with Durant, have never been the definitive favorite in the West. KDs ankle mishap was a freak accident, and now fans in Phoenix might not get to see him play until the postseason. Some weren’t buying into the Suns breezing through the west, even with Durant on the floor.
KD was already coming off an injury
Maybe the fact that Durant was already injured when the trade with Brooklyn was made last month should’ve been an indicator. The two-time NBA Finals MVP missed his last 14 games with the Brooklyn Nets. He’d played just three games for the Suns since being shipped out west and looked great.
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It’s like boom or bust now with KD. He’ll come in and play his usual spectacular game whenever he’s available, but then he could miss 10-15 games out of nowhere. Durant’s availability is so unpredictable at this stage that it’s tough to gauge his teams and where they truly stand in the championship hunt.
Winning a championship was going to be tough for the Suns, either way, this season, but they’ve got no shot without a healthy Durant to fall back on. Chris Paul seems to be declining daily, Devin Booker is great, but he alone won’t be enough without Durant and sufficient depth on the roster to make a legit run.
But this is what the Suns wanted so badly. They wanted Durant even though he was inactive at the time of the trade and already knew his recent injury history. As great a player as KD is, you aren’t acquiring him to make a run at the conference Finals. You bring in Durant to win a title as Golden State did, and Brooklyn attempted the past few years.
When healthy, Durant is easily a top-five player in the league, but that’s the issue. He’s rarely healthy enough to stay on the court for more than a couple of months without missing time. Phoenix knew this when they opted to trade for KD, but organizations reach when they are desperate. You never count on a player being out, but when the injuries continue to pile up, you can’t help but pay attention to the data presented.
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