The Golden State Warriors are one of the most dominant dynasties that we’ve ever seen in any sport, but their chances at the infamous three-peat are in serious trouble. The team appears to be heading into their NBA Finals matchup against the Toronto Raptors with the mindset that KD will be unavailable, despite the team’s reports that the injury Durant suffered was merely a calf strain. This leads me, as well as FS1’s basketball analyst and NBA champion, Matt Barnes, to believe that there is much more to this situation than Golden State is letting on.
During his last appearance on FS1’s Undisputed, Barnes gave some insight “I’ve had a similar injury, it took me a month to get back. These take a while. … I think KD’s injury is more serious than they made it out to be. I think the players are planning on KD not being back.” While Barnes thinks that this is simply a serious calf strain, I think that there could be something more going on here. Upon initial reaction, I, as well as every fan, player, and analyst thought that Durant suffered a torn Achilles. Heck, even KD himself said recently that he thought the worst when he looked back and grabbed for his calf/ankle area.
We’ve seen injuries like this in the NBA before, most famously Kobe Bryant back in 2013. In Bryant’s case, he instantly went down grabbing at his Achilles, but there are some similarities to others who have torn their Achilles. Namely, the thought that someone kicked/stepped on the back of his leg. Also, the first word coming out of the Warriors camp was in fact that KD had torn his Achilles. That was later reverted to a strained calf, but the timing and lack of public access to Durant is concerning to say the least.
What I’m getting at with all of this is that there is obviously something very wrong with KD, and the Warriors should be worried about this championship series. I’m in no way making excuses for Golden State’s health or the legitimacy of a potential Toronto championship run, but this is probably the worst player that this team could lose in this specific series. While GSW has all the offensive firepower in the world, KD would give Kawhii Leonard huge problems with keeping up on defense. In Durant’s absence, Leonard can now guard Klay Thompson who is the Warriors’ clear second scoring option.
All in all, Golden State should theoretically still win the Finals. With that being said, KD is important to a series like this, and the seemingly inevitable outcome is now not so inevitable for the Warriors.