When Kevin Durant left the game in the third-quarter for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, he did not return to the game because of a calf injury. It looked worse than it actually was. It looked as if it was an Achilles injury, Durant will be out for Game 6 on Friday night as well as a potential game 7 if the series comes to that.
Golden State will find a way to win this series against Houston even without him. I don’t expect them to win Game 6, but I do think they would win a Game 7 on their own home floor.
James Harden usually disappears in big time games and Chris Paul has not played well in this series. They both need to show up big time if they want to pull off the upset and possibly win their first NBA title since 1994-1995.
Kevin Durant will be reevaluated sometime next week. It would not be a surprise if he was ruled out for the rest of the postseason. It will be more difficult for them to win an NBA title, but the Warriors could get it done because they have won a championship without him before.
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney will most likely be the starting five with Durant being absent. Shaun Livingston, Alfonzo McKinnie, Jonas Jerebko, and Quinn Cook will be some of the key players coming off the bench. Josh Bell might see more playing time in Game 6 and maybe Game 7.
If the Warriors advance to the next round, they would face either the Portland Trail Blazers or Denver Nuggets. During the regular season, Golden State split their series with Portland at two games a piece and they won their series against Denver 3-1.
I think both of those series would be very good match ups regardless of who advances. The Nuggets might pose a bigger problem to the Warriors even though the Trail Blazers beat the Warriors more in the regular season.They have more depth and Nikola Jokic would absolutely wear them down.
Portland plays very good defense and Damian Lillard is also one of the best players remaining in the NBA playoffs. C.J. McCollum has also been very good during the postseason.
Golden State would be the favorite against either of those teams and I would expect them to get back to the NBA Finals but it would probably take six or seven games to do it.
They would then play one of the 3 remaining teams in the East: Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, or the Milwaukee Bucks. I think any of these teams could beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. All of them have beaten Golden State at least once this season.
It would be a tremendous finals any way you cut it, but I think the only team I could see the Warriors beating is Philadelphia. I am not sure if they would beat Toronto or Milwaukee.