But they could have the upper hand, as the Nets will reportedly miss the services of star Kevin Durant.
The league’s leading scorer this season had an MRI early Sunday, and the diagnosis is reported to be a sprained MCL. The injury could cause Durant to miss a significant period of time.
Nets‘ Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee and will return to full strength after period of rehab, team says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 16, 2022
Durant has sprained left knee. He'll miss matchup with #Cavs tomorrow.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) January 16, 2022
This is certainly bad news for Brooklyn. Durant’s injury occurred during the Nets’ Saturday game versus the New Orleans Pelicans. He left the game with 5:44 left in the first half after his teammate Bruce Brown fell backwards into his knee.
Without Durant, the Nets will definitely have a more difficult time against Cleveland. However, they will have former Cavs champion Kyrie Irving for the contest.
The point guard, who is yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19, is only allowed to play certain road games and is not allowed to suit up for the Nets’ home games because of New York City’s COVID-19 requirements.
As for the Cavs, they will play at home on Monday after a while. They just finished a six-game road trip in which they won five contests. Their last win over the Oklahoma City Thunder saw starting point guard Darius Garland post gaudy numbers. He recorded 27 points and 18 assists in that game.
The team is currently 26-18 and ranks sixth in the East. A win over the Nets would push Cleveland closer to the top seed.