The regular season is winding down and the Golden State Warriors have locked down the best record in the NBA for a third straight year. That might not seem like big news, but given how shaky the Warriors looked after Kevin Durant went down, this is definitely something to be proud of.
That fact alone should be an encouraging sign for any fan of the Warriors that was worried about this team as they entered the post-season. However, it gets better. A certain MVP is coming back before the first round of the playoffs to hopefully get his playing legs back.
The Warriors have officially announced that Durant has been cleared to return to the court and we will more than likely see him suit on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Here’s the full update from the Warriors:
Following multiple workout sessions in recent days – including 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 scrimmages – forward Kevin Durant has been cleared by the team’s medical and athletic training staffs to return to full-team practices. If he does not suffer any setbacks following tomorrow’s practice, it is anticipated that Durant will play in Saturday’s
game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena.
Durant has missed the last 19 games after suffering a Grade 2 left MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise against the Washington Wizards on February 28.
This is huge. Yes, the Warrior are already going to be hard to beat, but there is no doubt that Durant takes this team to another level. When Durant went down, the rest of the league saw this as an opportunity. Quite frankly, there is no team in the NBA that can really match up with the Warriors, so Durant’s return is bad news for the rest of the NBA.
Coming back before the postseason is crucial. Durant will now be able to use the final three games to try and get into game shape. After being out for a substantial period of time, Durant is going to need plenty of minutes to get in playoff mode. As most NBA players have said, you can’t replicate game action in practice, so the fact that Durant has three games to get some rust off his body means that the Warriors will enter the first round with Durant already in the swing of things.