Phoenix Suns Await the Debut of Kevin Durant

Must read


Posted on: February 24, 2023, 09:49h. 

Last updated on: February 24, 2023, 12:48h.

All-Star forward Kevin Durant has yet to play a game with the Phoenix Suns since they acquired him two weeks ago in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant is expected to make his debut with the Suns during an upcoming road trip, which could happen as early as this Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Durant Phoenix Suns debut owner Mat Ishbia trade
Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia (left) and general manager James Jones (right) join Kevin Durant (center) at the introductory press conference after the Brooklyn Nets traded Durant to the Suns. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Durant has been nursing a sprained right knee. He last suited up for the Nets in the first week of January before he sustained an MCL sprain.

In 39 games with the Nets this season, Durant averaged 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. He shot 55.9% from the floor and 37.6% from 3-point range. He’s also shooting a career-high 93.4% from the free-throw line.

Durant had a full-contact practice with the Suns this week. But head coach Monty Williams ruled him out for Friday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Suns begin a four-game road trip on Sunday with a nationally televised game against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a rematch of the 2021 NBA Finals, and some prognosticators think both teams could meet again in the 2023 NBA Finals.

If the Suns want to give Durant a couple more days of rest, he could make his debut next Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets on March 1.

The Big ‘D’ in KD

Durant joined the Suns in practice this week, including in a full-blown scrimmage on Thursday. His new teammates were impressed with his defense, which is one of the most underrated aspects of his game. Everyone knows Durant is one of the best offensive players in the NBA, a shooter who is nearly impossible to defend. But the Suns were quickly reminded that Durant excels on both ends of the court.

People forget KD is really a two-way superstar,” said center Deandre Ayton. “The dude can defend. He’s just a competitor. He’s not gonna just let you score this f—ing ball. He’s taller than you think he is, his arms are long as hell. It’s just crazy.”

Durant is listed at 6-foot-10, but he has the length of a seven-footer. He has the size to defend all three frontline positions, but also has the quickness to defend guards on the perimeter.

“It’s always tough because he can give you a little bit of space and you feel like you have room to shoot and he can still get a good contest on it or get a finger on it,” said shooting guard Devin Booker. “It’s really tough to score on him.”

Durant averages more blocked shots (1.5) than Ayton (0.7) this season.

“When you think of rim protection, you think of a 5,” said Williams. “It’s rare that you think of a guy that can play 2, 3, 4, who can close out and block shots and contest shots, but can also go to the rim and stop guys from scoring at the rim with [a] hard contest or even blocking shots.”

The Suns need every bit of Durant’s defense, because they gave up their top defender, forward Mikal Bridges, to acquire Durant from the Nets.

Betting the Suns After the Durant Trade

Bettors haven’t been shy about backing the Suns since they acquired Durant at the trade deadline. The Suns are now the second betting favorite on DraftKings’ NBA futures board at +425 odds to win the 2022-23 championship. Prior to the trade deadline, the Suns were +1800 odds to win the title.

The Suns are in fifth place in the Western Conference standings with a 32-28 record. They’re the outright favorite to win the Western Conference at +225 odds with Durant in the lineup.

The Denver Nuggets (42-16) have the best record in the West and the second-best record in the NBA. With a 10-game lead over the Suns, the Nuggets should secure the #1 playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets will need home-court advantage in the postseason if they expect to fend off Durant and the Suns.

The Pacific Division has the tightest divisional race in the NBA during the final quarter of the season. Six games separate the Sacramento Kings (33-25) in first place and the Los Angeles Lakers (28-32) in fifth place. The third-place Suns are two games out of first place, but just a half-game behind the LA Clippers (33-28) in second place. The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors (29-30) occupy fourth place in the division.

The Suns are the betting favorite to win the Pacific Division at -130 odds, followed by the Clippers (+220), Kings (+450), Warriors (+3000), and Lakers (+5500).


Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article

kemampuan spesial putaran ajaib slot mahjong ways 1 langsung cuan maksimalteknik keramat slot mahjong ways 2 auto turun scatter berlimpahslot jackpot unlimited paling di cari memberslot sugar rush 1000 mudah jackpot besartrik menangkan jackpot pakai strategi inirahasia mengalahkan mesin slot onlinertp dan volatilitas slot pragmatic gates of olympus hari inicara kerja fitur free spin pada slot gates of olympusakun vip mesin slot kakek zeus mudah dapat x500 tiap spincara menang slot sensasional hanya modal receh khusus slot olympusslot unlimited scatter tanpa batas game slot olympus 1000 terbarulink slot gacor terbaru saat inislot demo x500 mesin slot gate of gatotkaca hokiakun pro server jepang jaminan sensa slot olympus x500slot pasti menang dijamin perkalian besar pasti muncul gacor bangetslot anti kalah prediksi admin indra kenzrahasia bocoran dari ahli slot starlight princessstrategi meraih kemenangan besar sweet bonanza x100mengenal simbol penting pada slot gates of olympusfitur multiplikator dari slot gates of olympus yang harus kamu taucara jitu melipat gandakan kemenangan bermain slot onlineslot mahjong ways 2 scatter hitam membararahasia mengalahkan kunci admin mesin slot olympuspanduan lengkap cara mudah jp slot mahjong waysslot maxwin pasti jackpotpola hoki slot super mahjong ways 2 jaminan maxwin sekali spintrik ledakan bom besar x100 sweet bonanzacara mudah munculkan fitur slot scatter hitam kemenangan maksimalcara jitu mengalahkan bandar judi online dengan main slot pragmatic playsistem kemenangan besar 100 juta main slot mahjong ways banjir wild terbanyakcara menjadi sultan dalam sekejap bermain slot mahjong ways2rahasia gacor link maxwin terbaru pgsoftmain slot online dengan pola hoki dijamin maxwinslot mahjong lagi bagi bagi jackpot tanpa batas hanya butuh modal recehkunci kemenangan slot mahjong waysrahasia jam gacor gampang jackpot slot mahjong pandakumpulan slot gacor terbaru 2024sistem spin ajaib slot mahjong ways 1 gampang kasi kemenangan instantcheat gacor slot onlineslot scatter hitam menggila langsung menang 100 jutaslot rave party fever menang maxwin dengan trik bocoran ampuhpola jitu main ikan gampang menang slot koi gate habanerodaftar slot paling jitu memberikan kemenangan kepada member barubocoran pola sakti slot gates of olympuscara mendapatkan perkalian tidak wajar slot mahjong waysbocoran terbaru ahli bermain slot onlinealasan mengapa slot pragmatic gates of olympus begitu populerbocoran pola slot gates of olympus yang pasti slot hokibermain slot pragmatic gates of olympus dengan modal minimtrik main slot jackpot modal recehbocoran akurat sekali spin slot mahjong ways superbanjir kemenangan konsisten slot mahjong tanpa ampun kasi jackpotcara terbaik memaksimalkan kemenangan bermain slot mahjong ways 2admin putri bagi bagi akun sakti khusus slot pragmatic playpenemuan jam hoki slot gacorcara bermain slot gacor dengan langkah ajaib dari admin stevenulasan mendalam starlight princess x1000 menurut para ahliperbandingan slot starlight princess dengan slot lainnya di tahun 2024keistimewaan akun vip di slot online server thailandstrategi terbaik untuk menang di slot starlight princess dari pragmatic playfakta bocoran pola scatter dari negeri para princessgrebek situs pola gacor zeus untuk turunkan scatterketimpa scatter x1000 membuat bandar mahjong ways gulung tikarkumpulan naga hitam memecahkan pola gacor di mahjong wayslari bersama kakek zeus mengejar maxwin x1000mandi jackpot bareng di situs gacor anti rungkad bonanzapeluang kemudahan mencuri pola kakek merah zeusspenjual rujak memberi pola buah untuk mendapatkan jackpot di bonanzaresiko jadi admin slot dapat memecahkan pola gacor mahjong ways2seorang pria muda di temukan sukses berkat pola gacor princessnya