Things seemed to be leaning this way all day, and in the grand scheme of things it appears to be the right play.
Kevin Durant is out Wednesday night for Game 2 of the Warriors’ series against the Trail Blazers.
This is the right move for the Warriors — they can beat Portland without him, and it gives KD five days to rest his injury before Game 3. The Warriors will need Durant later in the postseason, and they don’t want this to linger.
While the loss of Durant is not good for the Warriors, it doesn’t change the main dynamic in this series — Portland can’t stop the Warriors’ offense. Maybe if Jusuf Nurkic returns they can slow it a little, but the simple fact is Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are not great defenders, and they are going to struggle to slow Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, particularly because the Warriors guards have a few inches each on their defenders. Portland has struggled on defense all season, and the Warriors have scored at an insane rate all season with or without Durant.
Maybe this is the game where the red-hot shooting of the Blazers can beat the Warriors, but I wouldn’t bet on it.