The Golden State Warriors will continue through the Western Conference finals without Kevin Durant — at least for the foreseeable future.
Durant, who suffered a strained right calf in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinals series against the Houston Rockets last week, is “not close” to being ready to return, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
“He has made progress, but it’s a little more serious than we thought at the very beginning,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday night. “So we’ll see where it all goes. But he’s in there all day long getting treatment. He’s done a great job of committing himself to that process ... Hopefully he’ll be back at some point, but we’ll just wait and see.”
“It’s a little more serious than we thought.” - Steve Kerr on Kevin Durant’s calf strain pic.twitter.com/xpFKDJuRLg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2019
Warriors general manager Bob Myers officially ruled Durant out of Game 3 and Game 4 of the series Thursday afternoon, too. He will not travel with the team to Portland for those games, either.
Game 5 of the series, if needed, is scheduled for May 22 in Oakland.
The 30-year-old has been a dominant force this postseason for Golden State, averaging more than 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while helping lead the Warriors to the Western Conference finals. He’s dropped more than 40 points in a single game three times, and put up 50 points in Game 6 of their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, too.
The Warriors, though, have an impeccable record without Durant this season, as long as Stephen Curry is on the floor. Steph, who dropped 36 points on Tuesday and shot 9-of-15 from the 3-point line, has led Golden State to a 26-1 record without Durant on the floor.
While that doesn’t mean they’re better without him, playing without Durant is the reality the Warriors are facing for the time being.
“There’s no mental adjustment,” Kerr said. “You just play. You go out there with what you have. This is our third game, three and a half games really, without him. We’re just trying to hold down the fort, and hopefully he continues to progress.”
Steve Kerr “pleased” with DeMarcus Cousins’ rehab
Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn quad in Game 2 of the Warriors’ opening-round playoff series against the Clippers, and is “unlikely” to return this season.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said on Thursday that while Cousins is “not exactly close” to game action, he’s pleased with how he’s progressed through rehab so far.
"DeMarcus is coming along," Kerr said, via ESPN. "He's starting to do some work on the floor, so he's not exactly close to playing in a game, but he's making good strides with his rehab and getting out on the court and starting to do some conditioning things. We'll see where that goes."
Both Cousins and Durant, the Warriors said, will be reevaluated next week.
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