We had a little bit of a shake up in the league this week. In case your wifi, TV, eyes and ears stopped working I’m sure you’ve heard that KD got hurt in the first quarter of the Warriors/Wizards game. I’m going to go out on a limb and say when the best player on your team is injured, this is not good. He will be out for at least a month then he will be reevaluated. While some may feel like it’s not a big deal, I think there is much reason for concern. Let me tell you why……………..
Even though the Warriors are still a really good team sans KD, they’re going to feel this. They gave up a lot of their complimentary pieces to sign Durant and they’re not as deep as they were last year. I’m not sure how much the newly acquired Matt Barnes is going to contribute either. The initial stages of the post-apocalyptic wasteland of injured Kevin Durant are not looking good for the Warriors. They have consecutive regular season losses for the first time since 2015 and they look out of sync offensively. Their two sharpshooters are not seeing the other-worldly efficiency they’ve experienced in the past and they are suffering on the defensive end as well. Durant’s effort and versatility on that end is probably his most seldom mentioned and under appreciated contribution to his new team. They are missing a ton with him off of the floor. He’s been their MVP so far this season.
There are two other reasons the Warriors should be concerned about this injury. Those reasons are called the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. They’re coming. The Rockets added another weapon in Lou Williams and the Spurs always turn it up a notch heading into the playoffs. The Spurs and Rockets are in striking distance of the #1 seed. Hopefully KD is cleared after a month but if he misses any of the postseason, I think Golden State might be in trouble. Should the unthinkable happen and the Warriors slide to the 3 spot in the West (also assuming everything else remains the same) they would have a first round matchup with the Grizzlies who will grind out every game. If they end up with the #2 seed, they’d be playing the Thunder. While the Warriors have won each of the matchups so far pretty handily, those have also been the three best performances of the season for KD. And the Thunder have gotten better with their new additions and the return of Enes Kanter. The March 20th game should be very interesting. To have to fight through all that then face the Rockets or the Spurs without the comfort of home court advantage would be brutal.
All in all, an injury to a superstar is going to be crippling no matter what team it is. It seems like there is going to be a tremendous adjustment period for Golden State in the coming weeks. They rebounded when Curry went down in the playoffs last year. Maybe they will be able to do the same this year. Only time will tell.