Kevin Durant is officially out for Game 1 against Damian Lillard and Portland after having sustained a calf injury late in Game 5 of Golden State’s semifinal squabble with the Houston Rockets.
Also, Durant is extremely unlikely to play in Game 2. Against a team of Trail Blazers with plenty of front court depth, on the defensive this might be extremely problematic.
Durant was in the middle of one of the greatest postseasons in NBA history, averaging 34.2 points per game, which is exceeding that of even Kawhi Leonard, who carried the Raptors to a win over the 76ers.
It goes without saying that losing Durant incredibly makes the Warriors worse. Without him, though, the Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets on the road, so this doesn’t necessarily give the Blazers an advantage enough.
Durant first suffered the injury to the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the second-round series. The team confirmed after undergoing an MRI that he would not be playing the rest of the series.
Despite the missed time, the forward would be back optimistic head coach Steve Kerr “at some point in conference finals,” per Nick Friedell of ESPN. Still, this makes the Warriors more vulnerable heading into the championship of the conference.
This still makes the Warriors more vulnerable to heading into the championship of the conference.
Although the squad was carried by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to victory against the Rockets, the absence of Durant is significant. He leads the league during the playoffs with an average of 34.2 points per game, including three games with a minimum of 45 points.
Kevin Durant will miss Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals with a calf strain.
Durant is averaging 34.2 PPG this postseason, his most in a single year in his career; that is also the highest scoring average by any player this postseason. pic.twitter.com/uUrIAGq5oW
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 13, 2019
With that said, without Durant, Golden State has shown that it can excel. This core had reached the NBA Finals in two straight seasons before joining the team in 2016 while winning it all in 2015. The remaining players will have an opportunity to prove that they can win for at least the first or two games on their own.