In the grand scheme of this series, these things do change the trajectory of this series. But they could make Saturday night a little more interesting.
First, the Warriors will again be without Kevin Durant for a game this series, he will again sit out with a strained calf, a story broken by Marc Stein of ESPN.
Durant sat out Game 2 and the Warriors still won in a landslide. They are comfortable in this position, having won 12 in a row before the end of the season with Durant sidelined.
The Warriors also will be without their coach for Game 3 in Portland Saturday night, the team announced a few hours before tipoff.
The Warriors are up 2-0 in this series and know what they have to do to win, whether or not Durant plays, and whether Brown or Kerr or Luke Walton were brought back to coach the team. The Warriors have distinct matchup advantages in terms of size — plus they play much better team defense — and none of that changes with Brown calling the shots.
One other will have a more significant impact on the game, and we don’t have the answer to it yet.
That is whether Jusuf Nurkic will play for Portland. Their injured center went through two days of non-contact drills at practice and was going to test his leg pregame before a decision is made. He balances out their roster on both ends of the floor and helps with defense in the paint.