Oakland, California — bad news for the Golden State Warriors fans. Kevin Durant won’t feature in Game 3 of the NBA Playoff Finals, while there are still doubts whether Klay Thompson will recover in time to make an appearance. The Raptors will probably employ the box-and-one defense for Game 3 as well, giving them a great chance to get back at the Dubs for the win in Game 2.
Game 3 takes place on Wednesday night in the Oracle Arena. A day before the game, the Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that Kevin Durant wouldn’t be ready to play in the game. Durant didn’t join his teammates at practice in the Oracle. However, according to Kerr, that doesn’t mean that KD was on vacation. Kerr said that the small forward spent his day at the practice facility. Durant joined his teammates for the film session and received treatment at the arena, but he’s still at a phase where he needs individual practice. As Kerr put it, Durant is out for Game 3, but is improving and working hard to make himself available before the playoffs end.
Slightly healthier Klay Thompson was present at practice and was walking without any impediment. He took a couple of stationary shots, but was more of an onlooker than an active participant for the rest of practice. Seemingly, Thompson and the head coach don’t see eye to eye when it comes to the severity of his injury. Although Klay held his head high, believing he would be ready to help the team in Game 3, Kerr was less enthusiastic.
Thompson May Still Feature
The thinking behind Kerr’s reservedness is that the Warriors don’t want to risk their shooting guard making an effort and making the injury only worse. Especially now that they have on their hands a series which may well go into Game 6 or 7. Thompson said that he felt that he would be ready to play, but conceded that it would be a decision they’d make before the game starts. He added that he felt much better than on Monday, hoping that the same would happen again and that he’d be well on Wednesday.
Kerr accepted that Thompson felt well and prepared but that the final decision would come from medical staff. They need to determine what the extent of the risk is, and if there’s any involved, Kerr will make Klay sit the game out. According to Kerr, Thompson will play only if the staff feels he will be able to give his all without a chance of aggravating the injury. If there’s a risk, Kerr would rather give his starting player a couple of days more of continued treatment so that he could be 100% ready for Game 4.
Thompson earned his injury in Game 2, when he pulled his hamstring after falling awkwardly. He tried to draw the referee to call a foul after a jump shot, but he landed on the floor with 7:59 on the clock in the fourth quarter. Thompson was the best player for the Warriors up until that moment, having scored 25 points.
Raptors Looking to Capitalize
Without Durant and Thompson in Game 3, the Warriors will have to rely on other players to deliver. Apart from regularly depending on Steph Curry, they will also have greater expectations of Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins. The Raptors have shown they’re not a team that will go down to Curry’s one-man show. So, if the Warriors want to win the game, they will need a balanced performance.
With the Warriors potentially missing two key players, the Raptors will find this to be the ideal opportunity to return the favor and take a road win in Game 3.