After practicing on Sunday, Kevin Durant may play on Monday for the Golden State Warriors. He’ll be listed as questionable, from what we understand.
Is this going to provide enough energy to bring G-State back from a 3-1 deficit against the Toronto Raptors?
That is just as questionable as his status. He went through some activities with his teammates, but it was light work at best. He has missed so much time by now that you have to wonder whether he is going to be effective. But if he can contribute something, he can create headaches for a Toronto team that has played exceptional defense.
The Warriors are down to their last breath. And they will tip it off at 9:05 PM ET at the Scotiabank Arena.
In the NBA betting odds posted for Game 5, the Raptors are favored at home:
NBA Finals Betting Odds for Game 5:
|Warriors||-1 (-110)||216 (-110)||-117|
|Raptors||+1 (-110)||216 (-110)||-103|
Those figures are inclusive of reduced juice, which helps you avoid having to lay -110. That’s a game-changer; the best value deal you’ll get at an online sportsbook. And you can get it at BetAnySports.
Bad Signs for Warriors
The loss by Golden State in Game 3 was understandable. They were missing Klay Thompson, out with a hamstring, and lacked shooters aside from Steph Curry. He was heroic, with 47 points, but may have been just a little worn out from that, with only two triples in Game 4.
What has to be kind of scary for the Warriors is that they were very un-Warrior-like on Thursday. It was a game where they were closer to being healthy with Thompson and even Kevon Looney back. They had a lead and supposedly some momentum at home. They are the team that usually comes out with a lot of fire in the third quarter.
But the Raptors cut through them like a knife through butter in Game 4. They outshot Golden State 52%-27% in that period and scored 37 points, effectively ending things. When you see these defending champions losing twice in a row at home BY DOUBLE DIGITS, you know that something is wrong, well beyond the absence of Durant.
Playing with Pain
There are a few guys who are hurting. DeMarcus Cousins may have extended himself a little too much. He’s been somewhat unproductive in the last couple of games. But he’s to be saluted for working like hell to get over his quad injury. The same can be said for Looney, who nobody expected to be available for Game 4. But he was, despite fractured ribs. And of course, you almost have to kill Thompson to keep him off the floor. They’ve all gotten praise from head coach Steve Kerr.
But the reaction to Durant is generally a lot of confusion; perhaps even a few dirty looks here and there. His teammates know he’s got one foot out the door. Is he going to New York? Brooklyn? Los Angeles? That seems to be the major concern, and the major distraction. He is being told, no doubt, that if he aggravates his calf strain, or if it starts to affect his Achilles, he could put his potential “super-max” deal in jeopardy.
What Difference Does KD Make?
If he comes back, will that be another distraction? How much could he possibly be expected to contribute? If Kerr started him, he’d be running a very big risk. As it would take Durant some time to settle in (how much is yet another question), this could cost this team at the beginning. And if you don’t play the guy, he can’t contribute. They might have to endure a lot of bad shots. It would be really interesting to see how Toronto coach Nick Nurse would defend him. He’s got a number of capable guys, particularly Kawhi Leonard.
The market has reflected some public confidence in a Durant return and subsequent Durant boost. If you think he’s going to perform miracles, follow them. If you think he’ll disrupt his own team, you’ll find a lot of value in this number.
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