OAKLAND — If the Golden State Warriors are going to become just the second team ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, they could really use Kevin Durant back on the court. He has been out since May 8 with a strained calf.
Jalen Rose, the ESPN personality and former NBA player, says don’t expect that to happen. He watched Durant’s workout (that the media was not allowed to see) and was not sounding positive on the Pros and Joes podcast (hat tip NBC Sports Bay Area).
“I’m really familiar with the setup, workout that KD had yesterday with the team,” Rose said, “and I’m going to tell you guys, it didn’t go well on any level. It did not go well on any level. I’m just going to keep it at that.”
“I went from being a guy that thinks that he may come back later in the series,” Rose added. “Now I feel like he might not come back at all.”
Before the game, Kerr would not talk about Durant’s workout and just kept things vague about his return.
“We’re hoping he can play Game 5 or 6,” Kerr said.
Durant is the X-factor in this series and the Warriors’ best chance to turn things around. Durant would change the defensive matchups for the Raptors — Kawhi Leonard would have to be on him — and could provide scoring in the halfcourt that the Warriors have sorely lacked this series.
If Rose is right and KD can’t go the series could end on Monday. Even with Durant, it’s a tall order for the Warriors to find a way to beat a confident, sharp Raptors team that just knocked off the Warriors twice in Oracle Arena. Without him… there could be some partying in Toronto on Monday night.