Kevin Durant Ahead of Schedule – Set to Return to The Court
Don’t count Kevin Durant out of the post season. The 28-year-old All Star has been reportedly participating in shooting drills and is slated to don his uniform sooner rather than later. Since suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise back in late February, the former Texas Longhorn could return to the hardwood before the playoffs.
Warriors beat writer Anthony Slater seemed confident that number 35 would be back in a Warriors uniform within days, “Warriors don’t practice today, play Tue/Wed, off-Thu. It seems Friday’s practice will be the final step before KD’s likely Saturday return,” and sports columnist Marcus Thompson tweeted “the best team in the NBA right now is adding Kevin Durant this weekend.”
So, for the sake of argument let’s just say that yes, Durant will be back in his high-tops this weekend. Will he be the same?
Like any athlete who’s suffered a significant injury I don’t expect Kevin Durant to soar coast-to-coast in high flying acrobatics upon his return but I do expect him to apply pressure to the offense, adding size on the post and be active on the defensive glass. The best-case scenario is he plays limited minutes, contributes 10 to 15 points and cleans up close misses with his length. With so much hoopla being made about resting uninjured players, it’s refreshing to see a player who is legitimately injured eager to return.
Does Golden State Need Him?
Look, if you watched the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and participated in a pool, you probably had your brackets busted when a big program fell short when three or four key players ran out of gas and couldn’t pile in 20+ points night in and night out because they only play a six-man rotation and like most human beings exhaustion and fatigue set in (did you see how badly both UNC and Gonzaga played in the championship game? Both teams were running on fumes). Well, Kerr isn’t known to delve too deep into his bench this season and this isn’t college, this is the pros (aka a business) so yes, the Golden State Warriors absolutely need him (in the post season), they just don’t need him right now. His first game back is an extension of rehab, a time to get him back into game shape, it’s not to secure a spot in the postseason, they already have one.
At the end of the day, I’ll be tuning in to see a fellow Washingtonian return, hey at least he wants to be there. Welcome back Durant, great to see you!