The Golden State Warriors finish out their season with three home games, starting with the Pelicans on Saturday (followed by the Jazz April 10 and the Lakers April 12). That seems a perfect time to bring Kevin Durant back from injury, let him shake off some rust and work on his conditioning, and just get back in the flow of the offense before the playoffs start.
That’s what the Warriors are targeting, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
The Golden State Warriors have targeted Saturday night’s home game against the New Orleans Pelicans as the return date for Kevin Durant provided that the All-Star forward experiences no setbacks in the final stages of his recovery from a sprained left knee, league sources told ESPN.
Sources told ESPN on Monday that Durant’s excellent progress since suffering a sprained MCL and bruised tibia at Washington on Feb. 28 has him on course to play in Golden State’s final three regular-season games.
The Warriors stumbled when Durant first was injured (they were going through a rough part of the schedule), but have since rattled off 11 consecutive wins led by Stephen Curry, who has found his MVP form again. The Warriors have all but locked up the best record in the NBA this season.
The Warriors don’t need to rush Durant back, they can beat the Trail Blazers — their likely first-round playoff opponent — without him. What they need for the later rounds is a fully healthy Durant who trusts his knee. That said, if he’s cleared by doctors the more quickly they can get him back integrated into the rotation and just getting in some run, the better off the Warriors will be.