Today the Warriors learned that all-star Kevin Durant would be out indefinitely after Zaza Pachulia fell awkwardly on his knee resulting in an MCL sprain. The good news is Durant could be back before the end of the season and Golden State can certainly not rush things considering they’ve already clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
KD just went to the locker room after this. pic.twitter.com/m4vNpGsm0a
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 1, 2017
It could have been worse. But that’s the optimistic view.
Obviously you also have to also prepare for any worst case scenarios that could take place. In this case it’s Durant not being ready by playoff time and missing some postseason games.
Frankly speaking, even before the playoffs begin we’re going to be learn a lot more about the composition of the Golden State Warriors, namely how they compensate for a bench that’s much more shallow than it was last season.
Lets not forget the Warriors had to part with Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Leonardo Barbosa in order to make room financially for Durant. I’m also not going to pretend these four players in any way stack up to the production Durant will give you on the floor, at least when he’s on the floor.
The trickle down effect of the Durant loss will result in more minutes for their other impact starters like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green which could be concerning when you consider the long season, thoughts of a long playoff run and the realities of coming off a devastating finals loss to the Cavaliers last season. Luckily the team was able to keep Andre Iguodala and add Shaun Livingston and David West. But how often are the Warriors going to have to look further down the bench at guys like Patrick McCaw, James McAdoo, Ian Clark or JaVale McGee?
Then there’s the possibility of facing that revamped Hornets front court consisting of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins in the first round of the playoffs which could add a sense of urgency in Durant’s return. Will he be 100 percent though and how much will he potentially get beat up in a first round series against those two?