The Golden State Warriors will be without superstar forward Kevin Durant for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Durant was always a very long shot to return in Game 2, but after a 118-109 Game 1 loss to Toronto, coach Steve Kerr officially shut the door on a KD return.
Steve Kerr: “Kevin’s not going to play Sunday.”— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) May 31, 2019
While Durant remains sidelined for at least one more game, he is back on the court working on individual drills, and has been for a few days. That is a very good sign.
Kevin Durant went through some individual on-court shooting in Toronto just now. He's been doing this for several days.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) May 31, 2019
Kerr also expanded on the carefulness that the team has to take with Durant, pointing out that any follow-up injuries could be disastrous.
Steve Kerr on KD's calf injury: "This is not like it's a sore ankle or a sore knee and he can play through it. This is a tricky one. If you re-injure the calf, that's it."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 31, 2019
Durant tore his calf in a non-contact injury on May 8, in Game 5 of the semifinals. The Warriors initially did well in his absence, fighting to win that game against the Houston Rockets, before closing out Houston on the road in Game 6. They followed that up with a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.
But Durant’s absence was strongly felt in Game 1 of the Finals, when the Warriors offense was often stagnant and lost. That could easily change in Game 2, even with Durant still sidelined, but one thing is clear: This team is much better with Durant on the floor.