The Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, 118-109. Now the Warriors chances for a three-peat aren’t good unless Kevin Durant comes back.
Durant has missed the last seven games due to a right calf strain. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expects that Durant will miss Game 2 on Sunday, according to the Toronto Press.
“Kevin’s not going to play Sunday,” Kerr said. “I guess we’ve been sort of holding out hope, but he’s not practising today, he’s not [going to] practise tomorrow. He’s still progressing. … It’s near impossible for him to play on Sunday.”
While Durant won’t play in Game 2, he is expected to return about halfway through the series, league sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Some member of the Warriors organization are optimistic that Durant could return for Game 3, however a Game 4 return is the most logical and more probable option.
The Warriors really need to have Durant back. Yes they can win without him, entering the NBA Finals the Warriors were 31-1 when Steph Curry played and Duran didn’t play. However the Warriors don’t have a chance at winning unless Durant comes back.
The Raptors defense showed why the Warriors won’t be able to win without Durant in the Finals. THe Raptors are long, athletic and have a lot of versatility and have a more dangerous group of role players than the Warriors do and were able to disrupt the Warriors offensive flow.
The Raptors held the Warriors to 43.6 percent shooting in Game 1 and they forced 17 turnovers. Three Raports players scored 20 points or more, as Pascal Siakam had 32 points, Kawhi Leonard had 23 points, and Marc Gasol had 20 points. Fred VanVleet also had 15 points for the Raptors.
Meanwhile for the Warriors, Curry had 34 points and Klay Thompson had 21 points. Besides those two the Warriors couldn’t find another player who could be a scoring option. The Warriors will have their offense depth tested as long as Durant remains out. Duran has averaged 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists this postseason and noone else on the Warriors can do what Durant can do when Duran isn’t playing.
The Warriors need to have Durant back. Otherwise they will watch the Toronto Raptors celebrate an NBA title.