The Golden State Warriors received great news earlier this week with Kevin Durant officially set to return on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Durant has missed the team’s last 19 games with a Grade 2 MCL sprain but has made a full recovery right before the playoffs, which is what the Warriors were hoping for. Durant will play in Saturday’s game with no limitations, as he is expected to go “full throttle.”

Stephen Curry doubtful to play

It’s good that the Warriors will finally have Durant back, but they may now be without Stephen Curry at least for Saturday’s outing. Curry reportedly has a left knee contusion, and he is listed doubtful to play.

Although Curry was able to put up 42 points and 11 assists against the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night, the two-time MVP banged up his knee during the first quarter of the game after being on the receiving end of two hard fouls. He was obviously able to play through the injury, but head coach Steve Kerr held Curry out of Friday’s practice.

It seems that Curry being out for Saturday is more for precautionary reasons, essentially a rest day for the 29-year-old. Coach Kerr would love to have Curry back for the final two regular season games against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, so he and Durant could log some time together on the floor to build chemistry before the post-season begins on April 15.

In Curry’s absence, Shaun Livingston is expected to be inserted into the starting lineup alongside Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia.

Team needs to rebuild chemistry

The Warriors have clinched the Western Conference already, so it’s not necessary for them to continue playing their star players.

But, the team must reestablish cohesion with Durant back. Currently, on a 13-game winning streak, the Warriors had found their rhythm without Durant after a slow start. Now, it may be a challenge to incorporate him back into the offense.

Nonetheless, there shouldn’t be too much concern for the Warriors despite losing Curry to a minor injury.

They are the best team in basketball right now and are gelling at the perfect time. With Durant back in the lineup, Golden State will be considered the heavy favorites are going into the playoffs. They simply have too much talent and offensive weapons. With Durant’s return, Matt Barnes will be downgraded to the bench unit, which also makes the second unit stronger.

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