HOUSTON – Hours after the Warriors confirmed that Kevin Durant would be out for at least a week with a calf strain, Golden State coach Steve Kerr expressed optimism about Durant's recovery and the team's postseason opportunities by entering the Game. 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Rockets, up to three-games to two in the series.
"I think it's good news," Kerr said at the team's hotel Thursday night. "Obviously, we are disappointed that he will not be able to play in this series, but if we can win the series and move on, it looks good for his return in the not too distant future."
Durant's injury, which will be re-evaluated in a week, comes at a particular time of danger for the Warriors. Despite being up in the series, Golden State has obtained limited production from its bench, while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have fought from the field. Meanwhile, Durant, who did not travel to South Texas with the team, was in the middle of a spectacular postseason, averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 badists and a block in 11 games.
"He's been the best player in the NBA in the playoffs," Kerr said. "It's been phenomenal, so obviously it's a big loss, but our team has a lot of confidence, they trust each other, they've won championships together, so we went out and gave our best."
After Durant's injury on Wednesday night, Curry scored 16 of his 25 points in the last 16 minutes of the game, making five three-pointers. One minute after Durant fell, Curry dropped a float to give the Warriors a 70-69 lead. Five minutes later, he used up a 28-foot triple to give the defending champions another one-point lead. At the last minute, he collected two free throws, helping the Warriors build a six-point lead, keeping the Rockets at bay.
"Obviously, we turn to Steph to generate most of our offense in the future, it's not like we've moved away completely over the years, it's just that with Kevin we have the best weapon, so we've mixed in Different Styles and offensive starting points for our team in recent years ".
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The Curry game down the stretch, combined with the contributions of guard Klay Thompson, striker Draymond Green and great man Kevon Looney, led many NBA observers to wonder if Golden State would return to the Curry-centered offense that he won the Warriors a championship in 2015. On Thursday, Kerr, although disappointed by Durant's injury, expressed confidence in the team's chances in Game 6.
"We've had different rotations, we've had different ways to attack, but the only good thing here is that we have experience since before Kevin was here with Steph, Klay, Andre. [Iguodala]Shaun [Livingston], our core boys, "said Kerr. So we have been successful. It does not mean it's the same, that was a few years ago, but we're comfortable that we can be successful with that group. "
"We are in a great place, we are up 3-2, we have championship rings on our fingers and a lot of experience that comes from that," added Kerr. "So let's go out and let it break."