After team doctors re-evaluated Kevin Durant before tipoff of Thursday, team president Bob Myers announced on NBC Sports Bay Area that Durant will not travel with the Warriors to Portland for games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
Warriors GM Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Greg Papa on “SNC: Warriors Playoff Central” that Durant will stay in Oakland and rehab with Warriors trainer Rick Celebrini while the rest of the team battles the Blazers at Moda Center on Saturday and Monday.
In a subsequent press release, the Warriors said that Durant “has shown good progress” and will be re-evaluated in a week. That could be after Game 5 back in the Bay Area.
DeMarcus Cousins, who is recovering from a torn left quadriceps muscle suffered in the second game of the postseason, also will be evaluated in a week. The report says Cousins’ “has progressed to on-court work, but is still not ready for live action.”
Durant suffered a strained calf in Game 5 against Houston, back on May 8. It was expected to take a week or two to heal, and we are still within that timeframe. The Warriors are not going to rush them back because they have not felt threatened by the Trail Blazers.
With Stephen Curry leading a faster-paced, more motion-based offense, the Warriors have won Game 6 on the road and eliminated the Houston Rockets, then back home won Game 1 against the Trail Blazers.
Despite the claims of some talking heads seeking attention, the Warriors are not better without Durant. You’d need to repress the last two years of the NBA to think that. The Warriors are more fun, more entertaining, and still very good, but not better.