|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAThe Oklahoma City Thunder may be playing Friday night in Atlanta without their star Kevin Durant.
Durant, the NBA's top scorer, sat out practice on Thursday with a sprained ankle and is questionable for Friday night's game. Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said that it is doubtful that Durant will play against the Atlanta Hawks.
This previous November, Durant sprained the same ankle and was out for two games. He has stated that the injury this time is not as bad. Currently, Durant and the Thunder are taking the condition day by day. He may play in the game or not. According to Brooks, “We'll see how he feels tomorrow but I would say doubtful,” in regards to the Hawks game.
Durant had rolled the ankle stepping on Tyler Hansbrough's foot on Wednesday night in a game against the Indiana Pacers. The injury occurred in the third quarter when Durant was driving to the basket, and needed to be helped to the locker room. He left the game with a swollen ankle and walking with a boot strapped to the foot.
Today, Durant was not wearing the boot, but also did not practice with the team. All he was allowed to do by the coaching staff was shoot a few free throws. Center Kendrick Perkins is also out with a sprained left knee. He is expected to be out for at least another week or two, at which point both players should be back on the court for the Thunder.
Durant is averaging 24.8 points per game and lead the NBA in scoring. Oklahoma City is in fourth place in the Western Conference, so there is no reason to rush the star's recovery. The only danger is that the Denver Nuggets have moved to 2 ½ games behind the Thunder, and if they surpass Oklahoma City, the Thunder will not have the home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
James Harden is expected to start against Atlanta in Durant's place.