Less than a minute into the first quarter of a recent game against the Wizards, Kevin Durant injured his knee. When the Warriors were on defense, Marcine Gortat and Zaza Pachulia got tangled up when a shot went up. Pachulia lost his balance and awkwardly rolled up on Durant’s knee, right away the Warriors stated that it was a hyper-extended knee. Later an MRI showed that he had an MCL sprain and a tibial Bone Bruise. There is no solid timeline for his return, the Warriors have said that they will reevaluate his condition in a month’s time, which would be a minimum of four weeks.

What is next for the Warriors?

The Warriors are at no shortage of talent, even without Durant playing, but the defending champions the Cleveland Cavaliers have been making moves. Recently the Cav’s have brought in veteran Deron Williams, and former Warrior Andrew Bogut. In order to keep up with the Cav’s roster changes, it has been said that the Warriors will look into signing defensive stopper and three point shooter Matt Barnes. Even though Barnes can not hold Durant’s jock, he would be a band-aid that could help the Warriors get through the time they will spend without Durant.

This injury was definitely not in the plans of Steve Kerr and the Warriors on their hell bent mission to get back to the finals and beat the East representatives (like it is going to be anybody else besides Lebron and the Cav’s).

With three other All-Stars on the roster, besides KD, they should be okay for the short term. The key question is if this injury will fully heal or if it will linger. Back in Oklahoma City Kevin Durant struggled with a foot injury that kept coming back to haunt him and the Thunder. If Durant is healthy by the time the Western Conference Finals rolls around the Warriors will not miss a beat.

The only team that can beat the Warriors in the West is San Antonio, and they will not play them until the conference finals. There is a chance that even without Durant, Steph Curry and company could still make the finals.

NBA Finals Grudge Match?

The real test will come in the NBA Finals where it seems destined to be the same two teams that have been in the last two finals, Warriors and Cavs.

Cleveland has also suffered key injuries to Kevin Love, as well as J.R. Smith. It will all come down to who can get healthy at the right time and come back to build chemistry before the Finals. If both the Cavs and the Warriors made the finals it would be the first time in NBA history that the same two teams have met in the NBA Finals for three consecutive years, but only second Finals appearance. Durant will no question will work hard at his rehab for a chance to return and help his team win.

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