Kevin Durant will miss at least four weeks with a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his left leg, but he will allegedly be back for the playoffs.
“Everything about this is alleged,” CSN Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “There are damn few doctors who have examined him and none in the media. They say that the bone bruise is the more worrisome of the two. If that heals slowly, then maybe he’s not ready for the start of the playoffs. If it heals very quickly, maybe he gets in a week before the season ends. Nobody knows. And the Warriors only said, ‘Well, we’re going to evaluate in four weeks.’ Now typically that means, ‘Okay, we’ve evaluated, he’s close, (but) it’s probably another couple of weeks.’ I’m guessing ball park figure, yeah, probably the middle of April.”
Of course, Durant might not return to action as soon as he’s cleared.
“If they win the conference outright and they’re playing the first round against Denver or Sacramento, they might choose to be a little cautious and hold him out of a couple of those games,” Ratto said. “On the other hand, if they drop to the 2 and open with Oklahoma City or Memphis, maybe they want to hurry him back a little bit. There’s just a lot of factors involved. Anybody who wants to put a date on this is a moron.”
In the meantime, the Warriors will have to find a way to replace Durant’s 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
“(Without Durant), they are a slightly worse version of the 2015 team,” Ratto said. “But what that means is they have to be a lot more efficient. They came to rely on Durant on nights when other things weren’t going well because, well, they’re smart people. So now if somebody’s having a bad shooting night, it’s going to be more noticeable, which means their margin of error is less. It means that Draymond Green is going to have to be an even better rim protector than he was in 2015 and an even better defender. But it’s not uncharted territory for them. That’s the one thing they’ve got going for them. That said, Durant is better than not Durant – and this has been proven.”