Report: Kevin Durant expected to return in Game 3 or 4 of NBA Finals

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All the chatter about the Warriors being better without Kevin Durant?

It’s over.

Golden State lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Raptors yesterday. Suddenly, Steph & Depth no longer looks like the answer. Durant appears needed.

Though he’ll almost certainly miss Game 2 Sunday, he could return soon.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Barring a setback, Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant is expected to return from a right calf strain at some point midway through the NBA Finals, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

There’s some optimism within members of the organization that a Game 3 arrival could be viable, but there’s a stronger possibility that Game 4 is the most logical option, sources said.

The big question: How well will Durant play? He could be rusty. He could be hobbled.

But he’s so darn talented. At minimum, he’ll be an upgrade who allows Golden State to shorten its rotation. At best, he could take over this series.

No matter what, the dynamics change when Durant plays. He’ll force Toronto to move a good defender – Kawhi Leonard? – onto him. That could open things for other Warriors.

Golden State must do something differently to win this series. There will surely be other adjustments, but inserting Durant into the lineup could be the big one.