Kevin Durant Could Play the Hero If He Can Return for Warriors

Golden State needs to win three straight games to beat the Raptors

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. (Ezra Shaw/Getty)
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. (Ezra Shaw/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / June 10, 2019 12:23 pm

After practicing with his teammates for the first time in about a month on Sunday, Kevin Durant is listed as questionable to play for Golden State in Toronto against the Raptors on Monday night.

Trailing 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Warriors need Durant back … badly.

Without Durant in the lineup, the Warriors have been outplayed in 10 of the 12 quarters of the finals despite Steph Curry do everything in his power to stop Toronto and that trend is likely to continue unless No. 35 can return to the floor.

Averaging 34.2 points per game while shooting 55.9 percent from downtown, Durant would give the Warriors a huge boost on offense as well as give them someone to throw against Kawhi Leonard of the defensive end.

If he can come back for the Warriors, Durant will be in position to play the role of hero and save Golden State’s chance of three-peating as NBA champs. A return, and a win, would also be more justification for Durant choosing to sign with the Warriors three summers ago even though the team was already stacked.

Even if the Warriors don’t win, Durant returning only helps aid his complicated narrative.

“Durant appears to be presented with a win-win: If he plays and performs to his standards, against all logic that says he should be rusty after missing so much time, he’ll be the hero he’s always wanted to be,” according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. “If he’s less than himself, it’s certainly understandable given the injury, the fact that opposite him will be a guy playing the ball of his life, and that Durant hasn’t come up short individually many times in his career.”

Of course, all this is predicated on Durant returning for Golden State. We should know more closer to tip-off.

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