The excellent news for Warriors followers: An MRI this afternoon confirmed that Kevin Durantâ€™s scary-looking non-contact harm Wednesday night time was really a proper calf pressure. The final time Durant strained his calf, he was solely out for per week, which suggests he might return within the playoffs and ought to be wholesome when he hits free company this summer time.
Now, the unhealthy information: The Warriors should beat the Rockets as soon as extra with out the one constant scorer theyâ€™ve had on this ugly collection. Houston has achieved an incredible job of constricting the Warriorsâ€™ area and denying them the room they should get their offense flowing, however they havenâ€™t achieved a lot in any respect to decelerate Durant. Heâ€™s scored 33.2 factors an evening within the convention semifinals, and heâ€™s achieved it regardless of the pesky protection of P.J. Tucker, who can finest be described as Patrick Beverley however larger. On the opposite aspect of the court docket, every time Durant was on James Harden, his size was fairly efficient at hindering the Rocketsâ€™ scorer.
In the meantime, the remainder of the staffâ€™s performed with rocks of their footwear. 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 collection. The bench was already skinny with out DeMarcus Cousins to lean on, and solely Kevon Looney has proven himself to be something apart from a pure catastrophe. Shaun Livingston sucks now. Durantâ€™s unbelievable scoring has been the Warriorsâ€™ piton all through the final three playoffs, and for the primary time because the notorious 2016 NBA Finals, the staff can be unable to depend on it.
The answer is straightforward, but additionally not: Curry and Thompson have to point out up. Itâ€™s a tricky ask to demand that the Warriors revert to the pass-happy move offense they ran earlier than Durant arrived, however retaining tempo with Houston can be not possible until each Curry and Thompson rating constantly. 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. Itâ€™ll be robust, however the Warriors have gained with out Durant earlier than.