Kevin Durant is close to recovering from his knee injury and debuting with the Phoenix Suns. The Suns' newest player is anticipated to play in one of the team's first games following the NBA All-Star break in 2023.
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Is Kevin Durant Finally Returning NBA Next Week?
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports that Durant will play five-on-five basketball on Thursday. The Suns will observe how the superstar's knee responds to the practice before evaluating whether he can play in a meaningful game.
Durant also can make his much-awaited comeback on Friday and play against Oklahoma City Thunder. However, reports suggested that he is more likely to play on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks. If Durant cannot return on Sunday, he might make his Suns debut on Wednesday to play against the Charlotte Hornets.
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What Happened To Kevin Durant?
Durant last played on January 8, when he damaged his Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). One month later, the Brooklyn Nets sent Durant to the Phoenix Suns.
The move immediately made the Suns the favorite in Western Conference betting. Phoenix began the All-Star break with a 32-27 record and the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The Suns have gone 11-4 in their previous 15 games and are only 1.5 games behind the No. 3 seed Sacramento Kings in the rankings.
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What Does Kevin Durant's Return Mean For The Suns?
It would make sense for Durant to return against Milwaukee since Sunday's matchup between the Suns and Bucks might serve as a preview of the 2023 NBA Finals. Milwaukee won the 2021 NBA Finals in six games against Phoenix. The Suns led the series 2-0 before Giannis Antetokounmpo guided the Bucks to four consecutive victories.
In the second round of the 2021 NBA playoffs, Antetokounmpo and Durant battled it out. In overtime, the Bucks defeated Durant and the Nets in Game 7 of their series. In the series, Durant averaged 35,4 points per game and appeared to be the greatest player in the league.
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It is plausible to argue that Antetokounmpo and Durant are the best NBA players when healthy. Durant and Devin Booker might be two of the league's top 10 players for the Suns. Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton help make Phoenix one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA's top four.
Durant averages 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in each game. The two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player had a career-high 55.9% field goal percentage.
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