‘Wasn’t Trying to Ease’: Nets’ Kevin Durant Reveals Elite Mentality After Returning From Injury

Published 04/08/2021, 12:00 AM EDT
Feb 13, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) stands next to head coach Steve Nash after exiting a game against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets didn’t have Kevin Durant in the lineup since February. Tonight, he marked his return after 23 games. He looked like he hasn’t missed a stride, as the Nets pummelled the New Orleans Pelicans by 28 points.

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Durant came off the bench and looked like he was back to his best. He had 17 points in 19 minutes and was perfect from the field, going 5-5 from the field and 5-5 from the free-throw line. During the post-game interview, Durant revealed the elite mentality he had regarding the plan for his return.

He said, “I expected to come out here and play the way I played. I wasn’t trying to ease into the game. Just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action. The game was fast-paced already, so watching it from the bench, I knew exactly how to approach it.”

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"I expected to come out here and play the way I played. I wasn't trying to ease into the game"

Kevin Durant was all gas, no brake in his return tonight pic.twitter.com/DXXa8hauIv

— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) April 8, 2021

Players are often cautious when they return from injury. Many aggravate their injury after returning, so there is always a fear of that happening.

But Durant knew what his body was capable of and made the most of it. He took the extra time out to heal completely and now that he is back, he wants to go 100% in every game.

Will the Nets seal the top spot following the return of Kevin Durant?

The Philadelphia 76ers held the top spot in the East for the longest time, before the Nets recently took over. They are currently tussling for the spot, and Philly is only 0.5 games behind them.

They have two easy games coming up against the Lakers and the Timberwolves, and then they face the 76ers again. That game could decide who gets to stay on top of the Eastern Conference.

During their last game, the Nets had a close win. However, Joel Embiid was absent in that game and that was a big disadvantage for the 76ers. While he is likely to play in the upcoming duel, the Nets might miss James Harden in that game. So that will make things interesting.

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Feb 13, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and forward Kevin Durant (7) rest near the team bench during a timeout against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets definitely look like the best team in the East and are projected to win the conference. But the 76ers and the Bucks are close. Durant is going to be the difference-maker for them, and his return will help the Nets to further increase their dominance in the league.

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Aaron Mathew

1462 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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