Kevin Durant rested his right shoulder sprain during the Nets’ win over Orlando on Friday and it apparently made a difference, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Durant returned to practice on Sunday and returned to action against Cleveland on Monday.
“Kevin is great. I think it served his shoulder well to miss a game,” coach Steve Nash said.
Durant is off to a strong start, averaging 28.6 PPG, 7.9 RPG and 4.9 APG in 16 games.
We have more on the New York City teams:
- LaMarcus Aldridge has thrived while playing on the Nets’ second unit but it’s still been a tough transition, he told Lewis. “It’s very difficult. You’ve been one type of player or a certain type of player your whole career. It’s definitely different coming off the bench and not playing much,” Aldridge said. “So it’s been difficult. … I’m still trying to figure it out and navigate it and find my spots. And I’m just trying to find my ways to try and help out.” Aldridge is playing for the veteran’s minimum after coming out of a health-related retirement. He’s averaging 12.9 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 20.6 MPG.
- Kemba Walker played both ends of a back-to-back this weekend for the first time this season. However, that won’t always be the case for a guard who’s battling knee injuries in recent seasons, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Nothing is set in stone for back-to-backs,’’ Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It’s just communication with medical people. Kemba has a lot of say in it. I trust him. He feels comfortable. And he’s done a great job taking care of his body.’’
- The Lakers will face the Knicks on Tuesday and Carmelo Anthony is looking forward to coming back to Madison Square Garden against his former team, Berman writes in a separate story. He says the New York fans treat him with uncommon adoration. “I always look forward to playing at the Garden, playing in front of the fans,” Anthony said. “With the Knicks or against the Knicks. That love is different. That fan base is different for me. It goes deeper than basketball. They embrace me. I embrace them.”