Kevin Durant may be officially out for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night against the Toronto Raptors, but the Golden State Warriors superstar could still make his return in Game 2.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Durant will travel with the team to Toronto, leaving open the possibility of a Game 2 appearance.
Durant left Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets with a calf strain and has been out of action since. Including that game, the Warriors have gone 6-0 since the injury, also sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.
There’s little doubt the Warriors aren’t better off with Durant, however. The 30-year-old superstar has been dominant this postseason, averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.2 steals and one block per game. Getting him back for Saturday’s Game 2 would be huge, though head coach Steve Kerr said on Monday that Durant hasn’t even resumed on-court work with the team at this point.
“Not with the team,” he said, per Matt Eppers of USA Today. “If he did anything on the court, it would’ve been pretty light. I know he’s been out kinda shooting some shots, but I haven’t talked to (director of sports medicine and performance) Rick (Celebrini) today, so I’m not exactly sure what he’s done today.”
The Warriors have also been without center DeMarcus Cousins since he tore his quad on April 15, though he was listed as questionable for Game 1. Kerr also spoke about Cousins’ recovery and the difficulties of working him back into the rotation:
“DeMarcus is making good progress right now. … He’s scrimmaged twice, he’s working on his conditioning. The good news is his body feels good, his quad feels good, but he’s working his way back into shape and into rhythm so this is not a simple dynamic for him and I feel bad for him.
“This is one of the reasons why he came to this team, it was to play in the playoffs and hopefully go to the Finals. We are and with Game 1 just a few days away it’s not an easy position to be in.”
Most teams would be sunk with both Durant and Cousins, but the Warriors swept a talented Blazers side. That makes them the favorites against Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors, even if Durant is unable to return until the series shifts back to Oakland.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report