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SportOpinion: Kevin Durant's Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels

07:10  11 june  2019
07:10  11 june  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Warriors hope Kevin Durant will be able to play in Game 5 or 6

Warriors hope Kevin Durant will be able to play in Game 5 or 6 Kevin Durant is not playing for the first four games of the NBA Finals, but the Golden State Warriors are hoping he’ll be able to play in Game 5 or 6. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told the media before Game 4 on Friday that Kevon Looney would be able to play but Durant would be out. He said they’re hoping the two-time Finals MVP will be able to play later in the series. Steve Kerr on Kevin Durant: "We're hoping he can play Game 5 or 6." Won't give any other updated details. — Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 7, 2019 Game 5 of the series is scheduled for Monday and Game 6 will be on Thursday.

What I'm Hearing: USA TODAY Sports' Jeff Zillgitt discusses Kevin Durant ' s strained calf, which will keep him out of the Warriors lineup for about a week, but is not a much more serious Achilles injury . USA TODAY.

OAKLAND, Calif. — The crowd at first did not seem to realize what had happened. Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant took a couple of healthy-looking lopes downcourt after shooting a baseline jumper over the Houston Rockets’ Iman Shumpert late in the third quarter of Game 5 on

Opinion: Kevin Durant's Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

TORONTO — He was brilliant, and then he was broken. He was valiant and then, in the split-second of one false move on a fragile muscle, he was a cautionary tale.

Kevin Durant should not have played in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

We’ll have to wait for the official diagnosis before we know how serious the “right lower leg” injury that left him exiting Scotiabank Arena on crutches was. And even then, the human body is such that we may never be completely sure whether the injury Durant suffered after playing 11 minutes, 57 seconds of basketball was caused because the one he suffered a month earlier with the same leg hadn’t fully healed.

Report: Kevin Durant suffered setback with calf injury

Report: Kevin Durant suffered setback with calf injury Now that the Golden State Warriors are down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, people want to know what is going on with Kevin Durant. Have the Warriors downplayed the severity of his injury? Is Durant unwilling to tough things out? Or is something else going on? According to one reporter, the Warriors had hopes of Durant playing in Game 4 on Friday night, but he suffered a setback. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst joined “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” after the Warriors’ 105-92 loss to the Raptors on Friday night and shared some information about Durant. He said the Warriors thought Durant would be able to play on Friday, but his body wasn’t ready.

Opinion : Warriors' wishful thinking on Kevin Durant has been just as destructive as his absence. But at least Durant playing in Game 5 would finally bring clarity to this series. Either the underlying dynamics of this series will shift just in time, or it will be remembered as a failed last gasp.

Warriors star Kevin Durant is expected to practice and do an extra workout with younger players on Sunday with the hope that he can play in Game 5 . Durant ’ s availability for the Finals against Toronto has been a predominant story line with the Warriors simultaneously bracing for the idea he won’t play

But it sure seemed that way, didn’t it, as he immediately grabbed at his Achilles after a non-contact play where he tried to make a lateral move with the ball.

Now here’s where we offer all the caveats that the details of the calf strain Durant suffered on May 8 were never revealed publicly, and Golden State’s highly experienced medical staff had far more information and training than those of us in the peanut gallery.

This is also true: Doctors can make mistakes, and players can push themselves too far or talk themselves into a bad decision when they’re feeling pressure to play.

And how could Durant not have felt that after the Warriors fell behind 3-1 in the series and it seemed they had no chance to come back without him? How could he not have felt it when Klay Thompson fought through a hamstring pull and Kevon Looney got a second opinion on a cartilage fracture in his chest that was supposedly going to keep him out of the series? How could a player who doesn’t ignore anything written or said about him possibly avoid the reports that there was frustration within the locker room that hopeful updates about his progress weren’t being realized on the court?

Kevin Durant exits Game 5 of NBA Finals with apparent leg injury

Kevin Durant exits Game 5 of NBA Finals with apparent leg injury Warriors star Kevin Durant limped off the floor and to the locker room after appearing to suffer a right-leg injury in the second quarter of Game 5.

More on NBA Finals. Inside Durant ' s Game 5 dilemma. "He' s going to practice with us today," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told media members. If Durant is ultimately cleared to play in Game 5 , one would have to wonder about the level of rust that he would be dealing with after being sidelined for

Kevin Durant ’ s Injury Re-Evaluation & Possible Timeline. The injury to Durant occurred on Wednesday, May 8 and it was revealed A best-case scenario is likely that Durant finds a way to get back at some point in the final three games of the series, assuming more than four games are needed.

In the end, the idea Durant was somehow being soft because he couldn’t make it back onto the court until Monday was, of course, ridiculous. From all we know about Durant, he has cared about only one thing since he was a kid — playing basketball. If he could have played, he would have been out there. His body didn’t let him.

And if the noise somehow played any role in Durant coming back before his body was ready to compete at the NBA Finals level, we all need to own some of that. NBA careers aren’t forever, and the discourse around injuries — which often includes some romantic tough-man idea of the way things used to be or bone-headed comparisons between basketball players and hockey players — needs to change.

If the worst happened — and who knows until the MRI exam, but the Warriors vaguely shifting the language from calf injury to lower leg injury doesn’t seem encouraging — it’s a major failure by everyone. Yes, including the Warriors.

Bob Myers defends Kevin Durant, accepts blame for injury

Bob Myers defends Kevin Durant, accepts blame for injury An emotional Bob Myers spoke after Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night and defended Kevin Durant as a person while saying he would accept any blame for the superstar’s Achilles injury. The Golden State Warriors' president spoke to the media with a shaky voice and shared why Durant was cleared for the game. “He was cleared to play tonight. That was a collaborative decision. I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department,” Myers said. Durant took some criticism for not playing previously during the Finals.

If Durant does play in Game 5 , he' s not expected to have a minute restriction, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. With his return to practice on Sunday, Kerr said that he is more hopeful about Durant ' s potential return than he has been in the past. "Yeah," Kerr replied when asked if he was feeling more

"So Durant has a tear in that calf. The grading just indicates how many fibers have been affected. So a mild strain, or a Grade 1 or 2 tear, whatever you want to call it, that is one thing. But let' s say Dr. Beyer is correct in that we're roughly looking at a Game 5 return for Durant in the conference finals.

You can say injuries are fluky, and to an extent that’s true. But this one didn’t seem like it. The same leg, the same part of the leg after a month of drama and mystery that never seemed to lead anywhere good.

Maybe the long-term outlook for Durant will be OK. The offseason is coming, plenty of time to rest. No matter what happens, he’ll go into free agency and get a max contract somewhere, even if he is out to start next season.

But when bodies start to break down in the NBA, intentionally accelerating the damage can be a dangerous game. Let’s just hope what happened Monday didn’t cost Durant more than a chance to rescue a title.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Kevin Durant's Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels

Related slideshow: 2019 NBA Finals (Provided by imagn)

Opinion: Kevin Durant's Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels

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