For the first time since the NBA implemented a draft system for All-Star starters, one team’s captain won’t be playing, but will still draft players. That captain is the leading vote-getter in the East, Kevin Durant.
Despite not being able to play in his 11th All-Star game, Kevin Durant will be live on TNT this Thursday with LeBron James, captain of the West, drafting his team.
Durant has now missed eight games in a row with a hamstring strain, and hasn’t played since February 13 against his former team, the Golden State Warriors.
Ironically, it’s actually been a long season for Durant, who’s missed his fair share of games (twice because of the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and now because of this hamstring injury).
As a result, he’s only suited up 19 times out of 36 games. In those 19 games he’s averaged 29 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, 52.4% FG and 43.4% 3FG and 1.4 BPG. Needless to say, he’s very much deserving of this All-Star team captain selection. Especially when you throw in there that he’s coming off of an Achilles injury.
Historically speaking, the odds have not been in the favor of players who suffer a ruptured Achilles. More often than not they come back only a shell of themselves. Maybe the extra time awarded to the 2x NBA champion though, due to the pandemic, has helped him. Reportedly we will see if he can keep this up as he’s expected to be back in the lineup after the All-Star break against the Boston Celtics March 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
By the way, in case you missed the selections, James and Durant will have to choose from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Domantas Sabonis, Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, Jaylen Brown, James Harden, Julius Randle, Zach Lavine, Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Rudy Gobert, Paul George, Donovan Mitchell, Zion Williamson, and Chris Paul to fill their rosters.
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