Brooklyn Nets SF/PF Kevin Durant has been ruled out for Friday’s game vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder to manage his recovery from Achilles surgery. The Nets have won three straight games and seven of their past nine. Brooklyn has a game on Sunday vs. the Wizards but only play three times next week, so Durant will get some rest. This shouldn’t mean things will be that much easier for the Thunder, who have won back-to-back games against potential playoff teams.
With Durant sidelined, the Nets will run through Kyrie Irving ($8,700) and James Harden ($10,300). We’ve seen Irving be the primary scorer and Harden the main facilitator with Durant sidelined this season. Harden has only scored over 30 points once in his past five games. Irving has at least 26 points in six of the past seven games. Both players will be decent tournament options, though the Thunder are a decent defensive team. There isn’t as strong a narrative with Durant out, but Harden is facing his former team.
Joe Harris ($5,200) and Jeff Green ($4,600) become decent value options. The Nets were 9.5 point favorites before the Durant news. It shouldn’t shift the line too much. If it hovers around double digits, OKC isn’t a bad spread pick. Chances are the line will go down a bit, which is risky given the Nets still have Harden and Irving. The Thunder have beat the Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers the past two games. Both those teams are dealing with some key injuries, however.