Warriors’ Kevin Durant will practice Sunday, not ruled out for Game 5
Kevin Durant will practice today, Steve Kerr says. Then the plan is to get him some extra work in with younger players. "We'll gauge it from there…What he's going to do today, he hasn't done." An optimistic turn.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 9, 2019
Steve Kerr didn’t rule out Kevin Durant playing in Game 5.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 9, 2019
Durant will ramp up his activity and give his calf another go as he tries to help salvage the Warriors’ remaining hopes for a three-peat. Durant went through a workout in advance of Game 4, but simply did not feel comfortable after the workout, with Golden State trainers saying he was not ready for game action.
There has been plenty of speculation about Durant’s readiness to play throughout the series. In fact, it has been a topic of discussion since Game 1.
The Warriors have struggled to find a certain level of consistency and reliable scoring on the offensive end in Durant’s absence. Although both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have done all they can to match Toronto’s offensive output, the Raptors have proven to be the far deeper team, getting numerous contributions from the likes of Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet.
In fact, losing Durant has made for a rather noticeable lack of rim protectors on Golden State. DeMarcus Cousins has looked out of place defensively, and Andrew Bogut is not a scoring option when he is in the game. As such, the Raptors have picked the Warriors apart in the paint, posting up Leonard and getting Ibaka a number of touches in the lane.
While the Warriors would love to see Kevin Durant return, it is unlikely that he or the organization would risk a potential re-injury given that a weakened calf could result in a damaged Achilles. That is too great a risk for one of the best players in league history, especially on the verge of free agency.