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Steve Nash not concerned about rotation when Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin return

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Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Steve Nash said Saturday he doesn’t know the exact date Durant will undergo a follow-up scan on his lingering left hamstring strain but said the scan will take place next week. Nor would be put a date on when Blake Griffin will make his Nets debut.

“Kevin is getting his scan this week coming. I’m not sure what day but he has a scan coming up sometime in the next week,” Nash said, who had previously noted the results of that scan will determine when he’ll return to action. KD is missing his 11th straight game Saturday.

Nash has also noted that Durant will need to ramp up after he is cleared. The Nets want to include that undisclosed ramp-up so they can “put him in a position to finish the season strong.”

While Durant will have to wait to go through a ramp-up, Griffin is at that stage now Nash said he wants his newest frontcourt piece to take his time as his health is the Nets’ main focus. Griffin hasn’t played since February 12, three days before the Pistons shut him down.

“We just want him to ramp up appropriately. I don’t know if that is a week or two or what it is but he is going to ramp up,” Nash said. “He hasn’t played for a long time. We will keep monitoring and pushing him towards a return date but we are in no rush. Most important thing is for him to be healthy as possible when he starts integrating into the team on the floor.”

Even though Durant and Griffin’s return dates remain TBD, the Nets are not in a bad place up front. Jeff Green and DeAndre Jordan are healthy while Nicolas Claxton has provided the team with good boosts off the bench. Brooklyn also has frontcourt insurance with Reggie Perry, who is back with the team following the shortened season stint with the the Long Island Nets in the G League “bubble.”

Nash said he hasn't put much thought into what the rotation will look like when everyone, particularly Durant, is back. Clearly, Durant will fill his spot and his role but Nash noted how it can take some time to adapt to the roster around him once he returns. Outside of rotations, Nash is pleased that his players are making strides and growing an identity.

“We cross it when it comes because who knows who will be available when Kevin is available. We are presuming everyone’s available when Kevin is but if the season is any indication that might be full-hearted so we’ll see,” Nash said.

“We’ll see when Kevin is available. Obviously, he’ll go straight back into his spot and see how we can adapt to the available roster around him. That might take some time too. We will constantly be at flux it feels like this season but that’s the case for most teams. We also feel really great that our team is making strides, improving, and growing an identity.”

Nash was also questioned about Spencer Dinwiddie, a player who he touted as “an unbelievable piece” during training camp. Dinwiddie, of course, has been rehabilitating from a partial ACL tear that occurred on December 28 against the Charlotte Hornets.

“I haven’t messaged with him for a few weeks now. He’s in LA,” said Nash of Dinwiddie, who’s been posting almost daily Instagram updates on his conditioning. “I’m very hesitent to comment on (Dinwiddie’s return) because my number goal is Spencer’s career, his long-term health.

“I don’t wanna dampen any dreams or goals that he has. At the same time, my No. 1 goal for Spencer is more important than our team. It’s for him to get to 100%, his health, and to have a long and successful career after this injury. That’s my number one goal, that’s all I’m thinking about whenever he’s ready to come back to basketball, I’ll be happy. But hopefully, it’s in a really safe and well-thought-out timeline.”

Dinwiddie, an overachiever in every sense of the word, has been pushing hard in his rehab. His most recent share was posted Saturday morning, four hours before Nash’s comments.

As for whether he foresees big changes either at the March 25 trade deadline or at the April 9 buyout deadline, Nash fell back on his oft-delivered line about how much he enjoys the guys he has on the roster now.

“I don’t want to start throwing out there my Christmas wish list. We have a nice team and a deep team and a lot of guys I really enjoy working with.”