Kevin Durant’s Absence Seems To Be Helping Warriors In Western Conference Finals
The Golden State Warriors have won all three conference finals games so far without All-Star Kevin Durant. Durant’s calf strain continues to keep him out of the series, but the Warriors seem to be doing just fine against the Portland Trail Blazers without him.
“Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who suffered a strained right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets on May 8, has shown good progress since beginning his rehabilitation program one week ago,” the Warriors said in a statement. “At this point, Durant is not ready to advance to on-court work.”
After much doubt from the Warriors camp about the team’s performance without Durant, the Warriors seem to have been playing better without him, especially in this Western Conference Finals. Draymond Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have picked up Durant’s workload and then some. Green has had three triple doubles this far, while Curry and Thompson are lighting up the scoreboard more than they have with Durant.
”There’s a big range of how long it could be depending on how he responds and how bad the strain is. This one is taking a little bit longer than the ones he’s had in the past, but that’s OK,” head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN. “He’s coming along well and if he continues to improve at the rate he’s improving now, we’re confident that he’ll be back. We just don’t know when.”
The Warriors have been winning with style in this Western Conference Finals, including a Game one performance where they held the lead for the last 46 minutes of the game, winning 116-94. While the team has been performing at another level, there is no doubt in the Warriors camp that Durant is doing anything but hindering the team’s performance.
With the NBA Finals not until the end of the month, this gives Durant even more time to recover from his calf strain, with the rest of the team surely securing a spot in the Finals, looking for their third straight NBA title.