NBA Odds: How Kevin Durant’s Injury Has Impacted Nets, Celtics
The Celtics are on an eight-game winning streak
Kevin Durant’s 2022-23 campaign came to a halt due and it’s opened up a significant impact for both the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics.
Durant, who suffered an MCL sprain in his right knee against the Miami Heat on Jan. 8, was said to be expected to remain sidelined for at least a month, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Last season, Durant suffered a similar injury which sidelined him for a six-week period. Yet, it’s only been four games since and the absence has already taken a major toll on the Nets, who as of Friday, sit fourth (27-17) in the Eastern Conference standings.
From Dec. 7 through Jan. 2, the Nets were the hottest team in basketball. They had won 12 consecutive games, dismissed questions regarding their head-coaching concerns and appeared to have found their much-needed stride. Since then, Brooklyn has gone 2-5 — three losses against teams below .500 this season. They’ve fallen from second — when Durant was healthy — to fourth in the East.
Here’s an updated look at where the odds stand for the Celtics and Nets among the top five teams with the best chances of winning the East, according to DraftKings Sportbook:
Boston Celtics: -1400
Milwaukee Bucks: +950
Philadelphia 76ers: +1700
Brooklyn Nets: +2500
Cleveland Cavaliers: +2500
As a result of Durant’s injury, to say the Nets haven’t been the same would be an understatement.
Since Durant’s third-quarter exit against the Heat, Brooklyn has endured a four-game losing streak. And through that stretch, the Nets have registered a 102.2 offensive rating which ranks dead-last in the league, they’ve shot 31.5% from 3-point range and 72.2% from the free-throw line — both 28th among all NBA teams.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have continued to flourish.
Boston has grown its gap — six games — over Brooklyn to lead the East with sole possession of the NBA’s best record (34-12) through 46 games played. This, of course, has included two wins against the Nets which has Boston on a five-game winning streak dating back to Feb. 8, 2022.
During their last game, on Jan. 12, the Nets were undermanned and Ben Simmons was underwhelming. With expectations of a scoring boost from the 6-foot-10 guard, Simmons instead registered a scoreless showing against the Celtics and attempted just three shots throughout the night.
The Celtics and Nets have two more scheduled matchups — Feb. 1 and March 3 — before the regular season reaches its end.