On Monday, news came down regarding the availability of Kevin Durant for the Golden State Warriors ahead of tonight's Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. In short, the Dubs will have to go at least another game without their playoff stud, due to the strained right calf he sustained in Game 5 of the semifinals against the Houston Rockets.
Adding insult to actual injury, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr addressed the Durant situation and the mounting questions and anticipation surrounding his possible and (hopefully) eventual return. ESPN's Nick Friedell covered coach Kerr's comments, following Monday's practice:
"'Everyone needs to slow down a little bit on the Kevin stuff,' Kerr said after Monday's practice. 'He hasn't even stepped on the floor yet. We've tried to remain somewhat vague because the injury is open-ended in terms of how much time he will need to recover.'
'I think in doing so, people have got the idea that he is going to come back and be Willis Reed or something. He hasn't even stepped on the floor yet. He still has pain. So there's some time ahead of him on the rehab process. So we'll have a more detailed update on Thursday.'"
While he was at it, coach Kerr also addressed another pressing matter on the Warriors injury front: DeMarcus Cousins. As far as the possibility of a Cousins return to the Western Conference Finals is concerned, Kerr commented:
"'DeMarcus probably similar [to Durant's status],' Kerr said. 'He hasn't had any live stuff on the court yet. So he's not that close either, but hopefully another week goes by, and things start to get better, and now we have a better prognosis. But at this point, we're getting ready for this series without both of them.'"
Everyone is also looking forward to tonight's first-ever Finals face-off of brothers Steph and Seth Curry. As the Associated Press reports, the Currys' parents, Dell and Sonya Curry, are going to have to flip a coin to decide which jersey each of them will be wearing to support one of their sons in this series, as Seth and the Portland Trail Blazers arrive in Oakland this evening.
For fans who are worried about the Dubs' chances against the Trail Blazers without the services of KD, consider this: According to fanduel.com, the Warriors were 24-1 in the 25 games they've played since acquiring Durant in 2016, where the Dubs were without Durant, but Stephen Curry played. That record now stands at 25-1, with Golden State's series-clinching win last Friday night in Houston. The verdict? Golden State should be more than capable of handling their business, at home and in front of the Oracle-faithful, with "Strength and Numbers" powering their attack.