Golden State having to battle through injuries has been one of the big storylines of the NBA Finals. Kevin Durant remains out with a strained calf and may be back for Game 3 or 4, but nothing is for sure. Klay Thompson had to leave during the fourth quarter of Game 2 with a hamstring issue and his status for Game 3 is unknown. Kevon Looney had to leave Game 3 with a shoulder injury after a hard fall. Stephen Curry was battling illness or fatigue to start the game. Andre Iguodala is playing through a leg issue and an assortment of other injuries.
It’s not just the Warriors — the Raptors have injuries to key players, too.
Kawhi Leonard has been battling a sore left knee since early in the conference finals. Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, has a ligament tear on his left thumb….
Leonard’s knee issue stems from overcompensating for his injured right quad suffered last season, that cost him all but nine games and basically paved the way for his exit out of San Antonio to the Raptors. His right quad, actually, is fine, and the left knee is the reason you’ve seen him laboring at times.
Leonard was clearly hobbling and bothered at points against Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals, although it didn’t seem to slow him. Leonard didn’t look slowed in Game 2 with 34 points and 14 rebounds and getting to the free throw line 16 times. He was the best Raptor on the floor, he just didn’t get enough help. Still, this would explain what is going on with him.
Lowry is 6-of-20 shooting overall and 4-of-12 from three in the Finals, although he has had good defenders — Klay Thompson, Draymond Green — covering him for much of the time.
It’s that time of the season, everyone is banged up. That’s just reality. The team that can fight through those injuries better has the best chance of winning an NBA title. So far, each team has done that once.