The defending champion Golden State Warriors weren’t able to take care of business in Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Thursday night, as the Toronto Raptors led for the majority of the contest and ultimately walked away with a 118-109 win.
The Warriors were without the services of All-Star forward Kevin Durant, as the reigning Finals MVP continues to be sidelined due to a calf injury that he suffered against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals, and his status for the remainder of the series is in question at this point in time.
Though the Warriors would obviously love to have Durant out on the floor with them, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is confident that his team can take care of business, even without Durant.
“It doesn’t matter until he’s out there,” Kerr said after Game 1. “So if he’s out there, he’s pretty good, but if he’s not out there we play with the guys we have and we have got enough. We have won the last, whatever, six games without him, five, six games. So we have enough, but you play with the guys who are healthy and you go. So we’ll see what happens.”
While Kerr is confident that his team can win four out of the next six games over the Raptors with or without Durant, he is less confident that Durant will be able to play in Game 2 on Sunday night.
“Considering Game 2 is Sunday and he hasn’t practiced with the team, you know — it’s pretty doubtful that he’ll play Game 2,” Kerr said.
Game 1 was just one game, so it’s important not to overreact, as the Warriors have both the talent and experience to bounce back. However, it’s OK to admit that they looked vulnerable without Durant on Thursday night, and will have to play better collectively if they are going to overcome his absence.
Courtesy: CBS Sports