The excellent news for Warriors followers: An MRI this afternoon confirmed that Kevin DurantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s scary-looking non-contact damage Wednesday night time was truly a proper calf pressure. The final time Durant strained his calf, he was solely out for per week, which suggests he may return within the playoffs and must be wholesome when he hits free company this summer season.
Now, the unhealthy information: The Warriors need to beat the Rockets as soon as extra with out the one constant scorer theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had on this ugly sequence. Houston has carried out an amazing job of constricting the WarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ house and denying them the room they should get their offense flowing, however they havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t carried out a lot in any respect to decelerate Durant. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s scored 33.2 factors an evening within the convention semifinals, and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s carried out it regardless of the pesky protection of P.J. Tucker, who can greatest be described as Patrick Beverley however greater. On the opposite aspect of the court docket, each time Durant was on James Harden, his size was fairly efficient at hindering the RocketsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ scorer.
In the meantime, the remainder of the workforceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s performed with rocks of their sneakers. Earlier than lastly waking up final night time, Klay Thompson was averaging 15 an evening, whereas Steph Curry has hit lower than 30 p.c of his threes all through the sequence. The bench was already skinny with out DeMarcus Cousins to lean on, and solely Kevon Looney has proven himself to be something aside from a pure catastrophe. Shaun Livingston sucks now. DurantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inconceivable scoring has been the WarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ piton all through the final three playoffs, and for the primary time because the notorious 2016 NBA Finals, the workforce shall be unable to depend on it.
The answer is easy, but in addition not: Curry and Thompson have to point out up. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a troublesome ask to demand that the Warriors revert to the pass-happy move offense they ran earlier than Durant arrived, however preserving tempo with Houston shall be unattainable until each Curry and Thompson rating persistently. Draymond Inexperienced, Andre Iguodala, and Looney can not carry the load. Historical past favors a 3-2 lead, and Golden State performed admirably after Durant went down final night time. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be powerful, however the Warriors have gained with out Durant earlier than.