TORONTO – Warriors coach Steve Kerr turned the common question – could an injured player play if the stakes were high enough? – on its head with DeMarcus Cousins.
“If this were the regular season, I would throw him out there and he would play,” Kerr said.
But the stakes might be too high. With Golden State facing the Raptors in the NBA Finals, acclimating Cousins – who missed most of the regular season with a torn Achilles and has been out since the middle of the first round with a quad injury – is its own challenge.
Still, Cousins will be active for Game 1, the Warriors announced. Kerr said Cousins’ usage will depend on the game’s flow. It wouldn’t be shocking if he doesn’t play at all.
With Toronto planning to switch frequently, Cousins could punish mismatches inside. However, Cousins – especially if he’s not in peak condition – could be a defensive liability.
Regardless, Kerr said he thought Cousins’ latest injury would be season-ending. That Cousins rehabbed hard enough to make himself available is its own accomplishment.
As for Kevin Durant, who suffered a calf injury in the second round, Kerr said the star forward must practice before playing. Mark Medina of The Mercury News:
Nobody expected Durant to play Games 1 or 2 in Toronto. He has already been ruled out for Game 1. Any faint hope of him playing Game 2 has nearly completely evaporated.