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Kevin Durant out minimum of two weeks with MCL sprain in right knee

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Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson discuss how Kevin Durant's absence will affect the Nets, and given that he's the guy that makes Brooklyn's offense go, Helin expects the Nets to really miss Durant's mid-range game.

This is not good, but it could have been worse — and it doesn’t appear as serious as a season ago.

Kevin Durant will be out for at least two weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee, the team announced Monday following an MRI. He will be re-evaluated after two weeks and could miss more time (likely a week or two more).

The injury occurred with just more than a minute to go in the third quarter Sunday when the Heat’s Jimmy Butler had his shot blocked by Ben Simmons and accidentally fell into Durant’s leg. Durant left the game and did not return.

This injury echoes last season, when Bruce Brown fell into Durant’s other knee on another fluke play and KD missed 21 games. This time it does not appear he will be out as long, although any time without Durant is not good news in Brooklyn.

Durant has been at the heart of the Nets’ turnaround since Nov. 1 and climb up to the No. 2 seed in the East. He played at an MVP level this season scoring 30 points a game with a ridiculously good 67.5 true shooting percentage, plus adding 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists a night. Brooklyn has looked like a contender under coach Jacque Vaughn — they are top five in offense and defense since he took over — and Durant is critical to that. This season, the Nets have outscored opponents by 6.7 points per 100 possessions when KD is on the court, but been outscored by 1.7 when he is off (there is a lot of noise in that stat, things may be different with Kyrie Irving playing at a high level of late).