*The Golden State Warriors are straight up desperate. Need we tell you that they are on the brink of elimination and trail the Toronto Raptures 3-1 in the 2019 NBA Finals. A loss tonight and the Raptors are the new champions. Pure and simple.
Wait! Hold your horses. Hero Alert! Hero Alert!
Here comes Kevin Durant to the rescue!! Durant, who’s been sidelined for almost a month, because of an injury has said he wants to play tonight.
Golden State’s Kevin Durant plans to play in Game 5 tonight, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2019
Here’s the story from CBS Sports:
Assuming nothing changes between now and game time, Durant will be making his first appearance since Game 5 of the conference semifinals more than a month ago. The Raptors have completely controlled this series and now have a 91-percent chance of winning the title, but nobody’s counting the Warriors out, especially not with this news.
That said, it’s a mistake to think that Durant — who will almost certainly be less than 100 percent and likely rusty, out of rhythm and in poor conditioning from so much time off — can just plop back into the lineup and magically turn Golden State back into a super-team. Fact is, they were 6-4 in the playoffs in the 10 full games he played, and they were in danger of going down 3-2 to the Rockets when he went down. And that was full-strength Durant.
Which is to say: this is still largely on Steph Curry’s shoulders.
The load will be lighter with Durant in the fold, no question. But perhaps the biggest mistake the Warriors, and Curry himself, made in Game 4 was thinking the return of Klay Thompson was enough to send Curry back to his usual, egalitarian, largely off-ball role. This could’ve been the influence of Steve Kerr, who simply will not budge from his stance that the Warriors are better off when everyone’s involved, even if that often reduces one of the greatest scorers of all-time to a decoy while lesser playmakers determine the Warriors’ fate.
This also could’ve been Curry being overly generous.
If not downright passive. Complacent. Tired.
And just flat out not good enough.
Either way, it can’t happen again. Not with the title, and perhaps the end of a dynasty, on the line. Durant is going to give Curry some more breathing room, but it’s on Curry to take advantage. The Warriors would be doing Curry a service to play him on-ball a bit more even with Durant back and the ball-and-player movement ethos presumably back in full effect. Give Curry the ball. Trust that he’ll make the right play. If he’s an all-time great player, this is his time. He has to be better than he was in Game 4, but the Warriors also have to prioritize putting him in position to do so.
You can get the rest of this story at CBS Sports.