Kevin Durant’s presence has loomed large over the NBA Finals despite the fact that he hasn’t played in a single game. The two-time defending Finals MVP has not played since the Western Conference Semifinals due to a lingering calf injury, something that has reportedly led to frustration among the Golden State Warriors.
But with the team down 3-1 and a make-or-break Game 5 on the schedule Monday, it seems that Durant will try to give it a go and give a boost to an ailing Warriors team that could use one of the NBA’s best talents in the lineup. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Sunday that Durant would, indeed, practice and that could be enough to get him back on the court on Monday night.
A return to practice and getting in some extra work is new in a recovery process for Durant that has been confounding for the Warriors since he injured his calf against the Houston Rockets.
But despite the progress made on Sunday as Kerr himself pointed out, his status for Game 5 is very much up in the air.
But a return to practice is a big step for Durant, whose calf injury has been the biggest subplot of this NBA Finals. The Warriors need to fend off a 3-1 deficit and could use every asset they have to make it happen. If Durant can return, and play anything like himself at his best, Golden State could have enough to swing the series.