Will Kevin Durant Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Injury Update, Lineup and Prediction

Published 01/10/2021, 10:00 AM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before a game against the Golden State Warriors at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in an inter-conference match-up. The Nets, who are widely considered championship contenders, have not had the kind of start they were hoping for. After a strong start from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets currently sit with a 5-5 record this season.

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OKC, on the other hand, has not been any different. The Thunder are currently in a rebuilding phase. They currently have a 4-4 record in the league, a modest start given their roster and expectations. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the bright spark for an OKC team that has lost much of its core over the last few years.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the Nets’ game against OKC this Sunday night.

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Brooklyn Nets – Team News

Dec 25, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots a three point jump shot against Boston Celtics center Tristan Thompson (13) defending during the third quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets lost their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have one of the worst records in the NBA. What made their win more confusing was that they got it done against the 76ers, who have the best record in the NBA, without Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. Durant has quarantined to follow protocol, whereas Irving has taken some time away from the team for personal reasons.

Durant is listed as probable for the game against OKC, whereas Irving is listed as questionable. However, it is possible that he returns with Durant. Spencer Dinwiddie, however, is out for the season after getting injured.

Predicted Line-up: Caris LeVert, Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Jarrett Allen

Oklahoma City Thunder – Team News

Dec 18, 2020; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) compete for a loose ball during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

OKC appears to be at full strength so far. They will miss Ty Jerome, who is ruled out with an ankle injury. Veteran Trevor Ariza is still yet to play a game for OKC. But with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander playing the way he has, the Thunder will not be too concerned about it.

Predicted Line-up: Shai Gilgeous Alexander, George Hill, Darius Bazley, Luguentz Dort, Al Horford

Brooklyn Nets vs Oklahoma City Thunder – Predictions

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Jan 1, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) drives the ball around Atlanta Hawks point guard Brandon Goodwin (0) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant could make his return against his former team. Given the tumultuous history between the two parties, Durant would be motivated if he were to play. The Nets need to dispel the doubts about their team with a solid performance. And with a team like OKC, they have a chance to do just that.

Prediction: Kevin Durant returns and shows no mercy to his old team as the Nets beat OKC.

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Who will win between the Nets and OKC? Can the Thunder cause an upset to the Brooklyn Nets? Regardless of the outcome, the fixture is building up to be an exciting Sunday night game.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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