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The Impact of Kevin Durant’s Injury

How will the Warriors do now that their star player, Kevin Durant, has been injured?

Gaby Fraifer, Staff Writer

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FACILITATOR: Durant is seen dribbling the ball up the court. He is known for his ability to facilitate his offense and find a way to score with the ball.

 

Kevin Durant was the Warrior’s dream pickup this off-season. He wanted to win a ring badly, and knew that if he left the Thunder for the Warriors that his dream would come true. But will his dream come true, after his latest MCL sprain injury that might have him sidelined for the majority of the season and NBA playoffs?

 

Durant has been everything the Warriors wanted this season. He’s averaged 25 points per game, with eight rebounds and four assists per game. The Warriors have not been performing as well in the regular season as they did a season ago, but they’re expected to repeat the Cavaliers vs. Warriors matchup for the third straight season. With the loss of Durant, however, they have lost a crucial piece to their unstoppable starting lineup that most teams in the league have not been able to take down. They also had to get rid of the many role players they had on last year’s legendary team in order to make enough room in the cap for the Warriors to be able to get Durant. With the loss of Durant, their whole lineup takes a hit because there are not as many good role players on the team to replace him, as he was scoring 25.3 points per game.

 

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THE REPLACEMENT: Matt Barnes is dishing out high fives after a successful play. Barnes is being counted on to serve as a replacement in Durant’s absence. They just need him to be at least half of what Durant is just until Durant comes back.

 

The Warriors did sign Matt Barnes to replace Durant, but can Matt Barnes average 25.3 points per game? In my opinion, Barnes will be a good role player, having played for the Warriors from 2006-2008. I just don’t think he can be even half of what Kevin Durant has been for the Warriors.

 

AP Images
MISSING PIECE: Durant is celebrating after hitting a nice shot. Durant was seen as the final piece that the Warriors needed to complete their chances of winning a championship this year. Who knows what’s going to happen now during the playoffs.

 

Don’t be surprised if you see the Warriors start to lose more games than they usually do. They can’t put their big three of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in for the whole game, and as I mentioned before they had to let go of the big names like Leandro Barbosa, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Brandon Rush, Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights to bring in Durant. They let go of good role players like Bogut, Ezeli and Speights, who were important to size in their lineup (something they don’t have this year). The Warriors have modeled their whole lineup around Durant, which holds more guards than big men. Durant was the size in the lineup, and besides Draymond Green, the Warriors don’t have a player who can play the center position very well.

 

Going forward, the Warriors won’t find the path to NBA playoffs as easy as they did before. In fact, if Durant doesn’t come back before playoffs, the Warriors might lose in the first or second round of playoffs. Not that the Warriors don’t have the ability to make it to finals, it’s just that they lack the size and bench depth to be able to compete with teams like the Spurs, the Rockets and even the Nuggets, with the style with which they currently use their biggest players. The Warriors may even have a chance to lose their status as first seed in the playoffs to the Spurs, who have been surging since the NBA All-Star break. Teams have caught onto the Warriors’ playing style, and with the loss of Durant, teams are finding it easy to shut down shooters Curry and Thompson.

 

Durant was the piece holding the Warriors together, and now that he has been removed from the team, there is nothing holding the Warriors together. The effect is chaos. The Warriors are now on a level playing field and they are going to have to work extra hard to get back to being an elite team, especially if Durant is out for longer than expected.

 

After all as every Cavaliers fan knows, “The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead.”

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