The Golden State Warriors are only one victory away from forcing a Game 7 during the NBA Finals. However, they need to accomplish it without Kevin Durant, the team’s All-Star forward, who went down in Game 6 due to an Achilles injury earlier this week.
What exactly does Kevin Durant’s injury mean for his team when they face the Toronto Raptors in Game 6? To answer this vital question, we asked 4 of our basketball experts to give their advice on the injury and to tell you how this will affect things in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
The Toronto Raptors are required to win one of the next two matches and better not be sorry for it either. Winning a championship essentially means that you don’t have to say sorry for the way it happened. If Toronto is unable to do that, the last 3 minutes during Game 5 will haunt them forever. For Golden State, it means that they are on a freeroll. There isn’t anybody that anticipates that they will win this now. If they do, they are giants!
The Golden State Warriors and Steve Kerr need to find alternative ways to score points without Kevin Durant. If you look at the Per Second Spectrum, you will realise that the two most-used plays for the Golden State Warriors were Durant isolations and Durant post-ups. He can be seen as the centrepiece for the team’s offence. He also managed to win the MVP award during the Finals in the last two seasons. He was regarded as the best scorer during the NBA playoffs, and his recent injury means that the splash brothers need to overcome the increase in defence and search for ways to score more to cover for Kevin Durant’s absence.
During Game 5, the team managed to do so with a record-breaking 3-point scoring performance. However, it’s highly unlikely that the Golden State Warriors will accumulate 30 3-pointers during Game 6. So you need to ask yourself, where will the remaining points come from now?
The Toronto Raptors are back to being the favourites to win this year. The arrival of Kevin Durant caused a lot of havoc in the series, especially when you look at his performance before he went down due to an injury. However, without Kevin Durant, and perhaps Kevon Looney, who managed to bring new life to the game after his chest injury, it’s difficult to imagine that the Golden State Warriors will pull something magical off in the next two matches.
The Toronto Raptors are the better team when Kevin Durant is not playing. The players are more athletic and longer than the Golden State Warriors, as they can maintain both defensive and offensive pressure which the Warriors are unable to overcome. The game was undecided while Durant was playing. However, without him, the Raptors are favourites to win this year.