Kevin Durant to Miss Four Games Due To COVID-19 Exposure

Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets Background

  • Kevin Durant will miss four games in the next seven days due to COVID-19 protocols.
  • Durant will be required to quarantine for seven days due to contact tracing/COVID-19 exposure.
  • The Nets are -3.5 betting favorites for their home game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.

Kevin Durant will miss the Brooklyn Nets’ next four games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. According to a report from ESPN, Durant has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be required to undergo quarantine before he can play again.

Durant is off to a torrid start for the Brooklyn Nets after missing the entire 2019-20 NBA season to rehab an Achilles tear. He is averaging 28.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game.

Seven-Day Quarantine

Per NBA rules, Durant will have to quarantine for seven days after the NBA’s contact tracing protocols revealed that he was exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Family members and close contacts of NBA players are allowed to be tested regularly for COVID-19, so once an individual from a player’s circle has tested positive, the player enters contact tracing/quarantine protocols

KD’s case is interesting however because he was one of the Nets players who contracted the virus during its outbreak last year. Durant has continued to register coronavirus antibodies and has already tested negative for the virus three times. However, the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols do not distinguish between players who have or don’t have antibodies, hence, the quarantine requirement for KD.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting the disease again. However, scientists are still unsure what degree of immunity antibodies provide against being infected again.

No Effects of Achilles Injury

Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season after suffering an Achilles injury during the 2019 NBA Finals when he was still with the Warriors. KD signed with the Nets as a free agent after that season to team up with Irving in Brooklyn. However, he didn’t play his first game in a Nets uniform until the start of the current campaign. It was worth the wait.

Showing no signs of lingering effects from his Achilles injury, Durant averaged 28.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in December, with the Nets going 3-1 in the games where KD played. Brooklyn looked every bit like the title contender they were painted to be with KD and Kyrie playing together. However, the team heads to their next game coming off back to back losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards.

In the next seven days, the Nets will host the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers before going on a one-game trip to Memphis and returning home for a matchup against KD’s old team the Oklahoma City Thunder. As long as he continues to test negative for COVID-19, Durant will then be eligible to return for the Nets’ January 12th game against the Denver Nuggets.

Nets Below .500

The Nets were among the preseason favorites to win the 2021 NBA title. As of January 4th, they are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks as the +240 odds on favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn also has the second-best odds to win the 2021 NBA title at +550, behind only the Lakers’ +250. However, the team has not had the start everyone expected.

After seven games played, the Nets are below the .500 mark with a 3-4 record. In their last game, Brooklyn lost by a solitary point to the 1-5 Washington Wizards after Durant and Kyrie Irving missed potential game-winning baskets. Overall, the Nets have dropped four out of their last five games heading to their Tuesday game against the Utah Jazz where they are currently listed as -3.5 point favorites.

Durant’s absence in the next four games will only make Steve Nash’s job even harder. With Spencer Dinwiddie also out of action, the Nets will have to rely heavily on Kyrie Irving and Caris Levert to create shot opportunities for the rest of the team. The Nets expected Durant to miss games this season as he was coming off an Achilles injury. But to miss him for a week during this crucial stretch where the team is still finding its identity could be brutal. Sure, KD will be back at 100% after a week but that’s precious time missed in a shortened season for a team trying to jell as a championship contender.

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