Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant has been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Steve Nash is now in a position to prove his head coaching chops, but he’ll have to do it without KD’s help and against arguably one of the best teams in basketball history-the Golden State Warriors.

The “nba standings” is a basketball blog that tracks the NBA’s team performance. The blog has an article about how Steve Nash’s injury will give him a chance to prove his head coaching chops.

Kevin Durant's Injury Gives Steve Nash a Chance to Prove His Head Coaching Chops

The Brooklyn Nets’ hiring of Hall of Famer Steve Nash as head coach in September 2020 came as a surprise. Since retiring from the NBA in 2015, the soon-to-be 48-year-old has not coached at any level. The only time he got near was when he was consulted by the Golden State Warriors. The numbers are impressive: a.642 winning percentage (77–43) through January 27 is the greatest in team history for coaches who have coached at least 100 games.

From the beginning, there were enormous hopes. The Nets were (and are) in win-now mentality with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the roster. The addition of James Harden in January 2021 further raised the stakes. With Durant rehabilitating from a damaged knee, Irving restricted to part-time action, and Harden dealing with hamstring soreness, Nash has a chance to make his mark on a job that some saw as unworthy of him.

Steve Nash confessed openly that he had crossed the line.

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Many critics blasted the Brooklyn Nets’ decision to employ Steve Nash despite his lack of coaching expertise. Nash was selected ahead of more competent applicants, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

Nash, to his credit, concurred with that conclusion. He did, however, mention his lengthy career as a point guard. And he surrounded himself with capable helpers. Jacque Vaughn, who formerly coached the Orlando Magic and replaced Kenny Atkinson on an interim basis to finish the 2019–20 season, was retained.

Mike D’Antoni, a 16-year NBA head coach with a career record of 672–527, was also brought in by Nash. Nash was the floor captain for D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” Phoenix Suns teams in the mid-2000s, and the two had been friends for almost two decades.

Nash was not only a first-time head coach, but he was also taking over for a squad that had high expectations. Kevin Durant was in good shape. Irving was in the same boat. Last season, it wasn’t nearly championship-or-bust for the Nets. It was, nevertheless, quite near.

With Kevin Durant out, Steve Nash has an opportunity to stamp his name on the team.

With Kevin Durant sidelined, Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash can put his fingerprints on his talented-but-fragile team.

With Kevin Durant sidelined, Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash can put his fingerprints on his talented-but-fragile team. With Kevin Durant out, Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash can stamp his mark on his talented but vulnerable squad. | Getty Images/Jonathan Bachman

The Brooklyn Nets possessed three superstars when general manager Sean Marks acquired Harden. But destiny had other plans for Steve Nash, the team’s first-year coach.

He had three superstars on his squad, but his available player list seldom changed from night to night. During the regular season, the Durant-Harden-Irving combination only played together eight times. Only six of the 12 playoff games included the trio. That includes Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks, in which Harden left after just 43 seconds.

Nash, it turned out, had yet to see anything. After Brooklyn opted not to retain Irving on as a part-time player, he was gone for more than two months. The management gave in in December, but the Big Three only got to play together twice before Durant’s knee injury on Jan. 15.

Brooklyn is 2–4 after Kevin Durant’s injury and has dropped three consecutive games. With a strained hamstring, Harden was unable to play in the team’s Jan. 26 defeat to the Denver Nuggets. Joe Harris is still out due to ankle surgery, Nic Claxton has just recently returned from hamstring issues, and veteran Paul Millsap is on his way out.

Instead, Nash leans heavily on Patty Mills, who averages over 30 minutes per game, and newcomers Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, and two-way player Kessler Edwards.

It’s a chance for the novice coach to prove himself. He’s had to alter rotations more than planned, is expecting players to do more than their projected duties, and is dealing with Blake Griffin’s diminished effectiveness after a strong season last year.

Without Kevin Durant, Nash is up against a lot of pressure.

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For a coach, having a squad full of superstars is a mixed gift. The Brooklyn Nets’ Steve Nash is learning this lesson the hard way, especially while Kevin Durant has been injured.

After all, according to a small group of NBA fans, any coach can win with superstars. Phil Jackson is sometimes chastised for enlisting Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen first, then Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant afterwards. Many people overlook Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s achievements since he won two championships with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

In a players’ league, coaching is a thankless job. Inquire about Frank Vogel. It was because of James and Anthony Davis that the Lakers won the NBA championship in 2020. Many believe Vogel is to blame for the team’s struggles this season.

Nash has been known to teach instinctively at times, especially in late-game scenarios. In a pinch, he rolls with his heated hands rather than relying on a planned rotation. But there are times when his inexperience shines through. Spoelstra’s defensive changes and sideline out-of-bounds plays were superior than Nash’s in an early-season setback at home to the Miami Heat.

Even if the Brooklyn Nets win the NBA championship this season, Steve Nash will be only a passenger on the train driven by his superstar trio (or at least Kevin Durant, Harden, and sometimes Irving — similar to how the letter “y” may be a vowel at times). But if he can lead the club through this lengthy stretch without Durant, he may be able to dispel the impression that he wasn’t deserving of the job.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

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RELATED: NBA Trade Deadline: The Dallas Mavericks Are in Prime Position to Sign Kyrie Irving and Change the Course of the 2021–22 Season

The “kevin durant injury” is a big blow to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team has lost their star player and now they will have to rely on Steve Nash to lead them.

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