On February 28, Kevin Durant injured his leg when teammate Zaza Pachulia accidentally fell into his leg after being boxed out by Marcin Gortat.
Warriors fans collectively held their breath as they didn’t know the dexterity of the injury right away, but they knew it was bad.
As Durant left the game, and the Warriors ended up losing that game, all talk was how bad the injury possibly was and how the team could possibly cope without him.
To answer those questions, Durant was out a month and some change and as far as the Warriors, after a slow start, they quickly picked it back up, continuing to dominate teams on their way to securing the best record in the league.
Although they were having good success without him, especially recently, on Saturday night, they were certainly glad to have him back. The first play of the game proved why.
On their first possession, KD caught the ball along the right corner and sized up his defender. Durant then hit his defender with a quick pump fake and took a hard dribble towards the baseline as he had gotten a great first step. Right after seeing that first step, his teammates on the bench stood up because they knew what would happen next: Durant took a long step and punched an impactful reverse jam that caused the bench and the Warriors crowd to go into a frenzy. What a way to come back!
This opening basket gave fans, the team and more importantly, Durant everything that they needed to see to show that he’s fine and he’s back. Durant would finish with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists, playing 31 minutes and wanting more according to coach Steve Kerr.
Although he struggled from three point range (0-4) we know that the shooting touch will come, what was more impressive was his explosiveness to the basket and his ability to finish as the rim. That dunk signaled the fact that not only was he back, but that the Warriors, when fully healthy are the clear favorites to win it all this year, especially with the defending champions struggling as of late.
There won’t be much need to readjust to Durant due to their free-flowing offensive system and the fact that they had already played 50- plus games together before the injury. It will likely be a seamless transition back into the fold for Durant which is bad news for the rest of the league heading into the playoffs.
With Durant, the Warriors are better on both sides of the ball and the way they have things going now, it looks like there’s not much you can be able to do to stop them.
With the return of Durant, are the Warriors a lock to win the title? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.