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On Wednesday before his home debut with the Suns, Kevin Durant suffered a minor slip and fall during warmups. Despite getting up, he continued with pregame work but ultimately had to withdraw due to an ankle injury.
Fans were shocked by the development, as they had been building up anticipation for 13-time All-Star to start in his place. Instead, Torrey Craig started and the Phoenix Suns cruised past Oklahoma City Thunder 132-101.
The Phoenix Suns' home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed after Kevin Durant suffered an ankle injury during pregame warmups. This is believed to be a grade 2 sprain and could keep the star forward out for the remainder of this season or potentially into playoffs.
The injury is a setback for the Suns, who are two games behind Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference standings. With 16 games left in the regular season, they need to find some momentum in order to boost their postseason chances.
Since being traded to Phoenix in February, Durant has averaged 26.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in his three games with the Suns. Unfortunately, he missed time earlier this season with a knee injury which kept him out of 20 games.
On his first game with the Suns, Durant fell and tweaked his left ankle. He lay there for a few moments but eventually got up and finished warming up.
Coach Monty Williams initially described the injury as a "left ankle sprain," but didn't provide further details until right before their pregame team meeting. To this day, the star player is still wearing a walking boot.
According to The Arizona Republic, Durant is expected to undergo an MRI on Thursday. Additionally, there is concern within the Suns organization that he could suffer a grade 2 ankle sprain that would keep him out four to six weeks.
If the injury is severe, it could hamper Phoenix's chances of winning a championship this season. They currently sit fourth in the Western Conference and must navigate an intense stretch that includes three games against Golden State and Milwaukee.
Devin Booker, the Suns' top scorer in KD's absence, played well. His average point total of 38 came on 17-of-23 shooting for the night. Despite their setback, Booker remained focused on what needed to be done.
The injury is a setback to the Suns' hopes of making an extended playoff run, yet it doesn't change the fact that they possess enough talent and experience to compete for a championship. With many teams out of contention in the West, the Suns still have a chance to make significant progress if they can stay healthy.
On Wednesday night, Kevin Durant suffered an ankle injury during pregame warmups before the Suns played against Oklahoma City Thunder. After rolling his ankle and leaving Footprint Center with a walking boot, Durant exited in what looked like a walking boot; there are fears within the organization that this may have been a grade 2 ankle sprain.
A Grade 2 ankle sprain is a relatively common, though not serious injury that occurs when the outer ligaments of the foot become stretched too much. This can lead to moderate pain, swelling and bruising as well. On average it takes 4 - 6 weeks for this type of injury to heal completely.
Durant's injury could be a devastating setback for the Phoenix Suns, who are on the cusp of becoming true Western Conference title contenders. They currently sit fourth in the West with an eight-game lead over fifth-seeded Warriors.
Though Durant's return from knee injury has given the Suns a boost in the standings, they still need to develop depth and chemistry if they want to make it to the NBA Finals. Without their star forward, they'll likely have to rely on more experienced players such as Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton for success.
Since Durant's acquisition, the Suns are 3-0 with him on the court and have gone 16-5 over their last 21 games. This has been their best stretch of the season so far and it will be key for them to get off to a strong start in the playoffs.
KD had been averaging 28 points and 9.6 rebounds in his first three games with the Suns, providing a major reason why their season has taken off. Unfortunately, an injury to KD could take away some momentum from their efforts and leave them without key players for the remainder of the year.
The Suns have a talented group of young players and an experienced bench to replace Durant, but their top-seed status could be in jeopardy due to this injury. Even if they make the playoffs, it remains uncertain if they can develop enough depth and chemistry that will allow them to achieve their goal of becoming Western Conference champions.
As Kevin Durant prepared for his first home game with the Phoenix Suns, an ankle injury occurred. According to Greg Moore of The Arizona Republic, there is concern within the organization that Durant may have sustained a grade 2 ankle sprain that could keep him out for the remainder of this regular season and possibly into playoffs as well.
The 13-time All-Star was warming up to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder when he rolled his ankle. After finishing warmups, he was scratched from the lineup due to "left ankle soreness."
KD's return is still uncertain, but on Thursday he'll have an MRI to see exactly how long this injury will keep him out. Unfortunately, this news comes as a major setback to the team as Durant already missed three games with the Suns this season due to this injury.
While waiting for his return, Durant is making the most of this opportunity to learn the system. In three games with him in the lineup for the Suns, he has averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
He's also developing a close bond with his new teammates, which has given him confidence in the NBA. In Sunday's 132-101 win against the Thunder, Devin Booker scored 44 points in just 29 minutes and has been an instrumental factor in their remarkable win streak.
However, without KD on the floor, it's easy to see how the Suns could lose this game and fall behind in their Western Conference race. Even with this setback, they will still make the playoffs (they're currently in the top six), but it won't be as smooth a ride as they had hoped.
When Durant returns to the lineup, he should be primed to make an impact during the playoffs. He's an outstanding scorer and has all of the skillset and experience necessary for helping the Suns make a deep run.
Durant's ankle injury could be a devastating blow for the Suns, yet they will still reach the playoffs and build an excellent foundation for next season. Conversely, it's also a major setback for the Thunder who had been counting on Durant as their go-to offensive player. Without a replacement for the former MVP, this season could turn out to be one of their most disappointing yet.
On Wednesday morning before the Suns' 132-101 win against Oklahoma City Thunder, superstar forward Kevin Durant suffered an apparent ankle sprain during warmups. He left the game wearing a walking boot and it appears that he may be out for the remainder of the regular season and possibly into playoff play as well.
In three games with the Phoenix Suns this season, Durant has averaged 26.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game - a career high in both categories. His recent play has shown that when healthy, Durant can still be an effective offensive player.
He has also demonstrated his defensive toughness, something which has been overlooked this season. In three games with the Suns this season, Durant has recorded 10 blocks and five steals.
According to The Arizona Republic, there is concern within the organization that Durant may have a grade 2 sprain that could keep him out for four or six weeks. This poses a serious problem considering that the Suns remain in an exciting Western Conference race.
Losing KD can be a huge blow for the Nets, but it also presents them with an opportunity to utilize their talented role players and find some success during his absence. That would benefit them in the long run as it gives them another offensive weapon on their roster and increases their chances of making the playoffs in 2018.
At present, the Brooklyn Nets (27-13) are in second place in the Eastern Conference standings and only 1.5 games behind the top-seeded Boston Celtics. Furthermore, they are only 0.5 games behind Chicago Bulls for the No. 1 seed in the East - an excellent position to be in right now.
However, if Durant is out for any extended period of time, the Nets could easily slip into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings. With Kyrie Irving returning after the All-Star break, no other player in their rotation is likely to fill in for KD and make a difference in their playoff hopes.