Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kevin Durant Will Return to The Starting Line Up This Saturday

KD Jonah_A via flickr.com

NBA

KD Set to Return Saturday:

Golden State Warriors fans can rejoice because their star forward Kevin Durant (KD) has been cleared to return to play. Durant will return to the starting line-up this Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Durant has not played since February 28th after injuring his knee. The 6-foot-11 forward has played more than 50 games this season. Prior to injuring his knee the Prince Georges County native was averaging 25.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

The fact that KD is returning to the starting line-up before the start of the playoffs is huge. KD offers the team isolation scoring, rebounding and shot blocking. The former Oklahoma City Thunder forward can create space, score from anywhere on the floor and defend when needed.

The Pro’s:

At one point of the season without Durant, the Warriors lost the first seed to the San Antonio Spurs. Without number 35 Dub Nation at times has lacked rhythm, a primary starter, and direction.

Despite losing KD for a month and a half, Golden State is now on a 13-game win streak.  Now you might find yourself asking what is next for Golden State? Will Golden State win the title, now that their huge summer free agent has returned?

It’s significant that the former Montrose Christian star returned to the floor before playoffs for several reasons. If Durant returned during the playoffs he would have had to adjust to heavy minutes, game speed and conditioning.

The fact that KD will get to play in the final three games of the season is huge. Make no mistake what the Warriors are accomplishing right now is incredible, but in the words of Kendrick Lamar “Be Humble”.

“Be Humble”

If the playoffs started today Dub Nation would play the Portland Trail Blazers. Now I do believe that the Warriors will make it to the NBA finals. However, facing the Trail Blazers first round will not be a walk in the park.

Let’s flash back to last year when Warriors guard Stephen Curry sprained his knee. Although they would go on to win the 2014-2015 championship, Curry struggled to trust his knee and get back to his MVP caliber.

Curry eventually would snap back into form, but the former MVP struggled to put pressure on his knee, shoot and defend quick guards. Now let’s get back to Durant for a second. Again, the Warriors will go to the western conference finals, but Durant will struggle with going under or around screens.

Blazer guards Damien Lillard and CJ MCcollum will make the 2014-2015 NBA champions defend and switch on defense. This will put pressure on Durant’s knee and make the first-round physical. The Blazers do not have anything to lose so expect a physical first round.

KD’s return is significant, but the road to the finals will be difficult if he does not adjust quick.