Kevin Durant's Warriors return depends on severity of injury, Doctor says

Kevin Durant's Warriors return depends on severity of injury, Doctor says

Kevin Durant won't be playing for the rest of the Western Conference semifinals vs. the Rockets, that much is clear.

KD went down toward the end of the third quarter of Wednesday night's Game 5 and limped his way to the locker room and did not return. The Warriors announced he was diagnosed with a right calf strain and will be re-evaluated in one week.

So just how long could the Warriors be Durant-less? Well, that depends on the severity of the injury.

Dr. Alexis Colvin, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeon at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, said there are some positives to take away from KD's injury. And while she has not looked at Durant's MRI and is not treating him, she's seen similar situations before.

"The good thing is this is a calf strain and not something that needs surgery," Dr. Colvin told NBC Sports Bay Area. "But it is something where the body has to heal it."

Dr. Colvin added that when it comes to a calf strain, it's a very general diagnosis.

"You could have a mild one where there are just small micro tears in the muscles or one where it's hard to put weight on it or there's bruising -- obviously that would be something that would take a lot longer to get better. It's very difficult to say with just the word 'calf strain,' because it's so general," she added.

As far as rehabilitation goes with this injury, Dr. Colvin said it's based on stages. And you want to make sure an individual is able to walk comfortably without crutches or without anything assisting them.

"You can do very light motion and strengthening. Everything is progressing until the last thing you would want to do is things with impact -- or very sport specific things."

[RELATEDWarriors down to three OG's with Durant's injury]

And basketball, in particular, isn't a sport you can go back to without being 100 percent, Dr. Colvin explained. And until we have more details of the severity of the injury Durant sustained, we can hope fans can keep a positive mindset. 

"The good thing is, he's a professional athlete so he's already starting in very good shape, to begin with, which is always helpful, but we're also trying to get him to a place where he's at full competitive ability again."

With Anthony Davis, Lakers start arms race to take Warriors crown

USA Today

With Anthony Davis, Lakers start arms race to take Warriors crown

The Warriors have gotten used to being the 'hunted' over the last half-decade.

Over the span, the rest of the NBA has been in an arms race to catch them, to no avail. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, achieved the greatest five year run in NBA history. 

Now - after the 2019 NBA Finals loss to the Raptors crippled of Durant and Klay Thompson - the rest of the league is primed to permanently end the dynasty. 

The latest example comes out of Los Angeles, where the Lakers - who will open their preseason against the Warriors Oct. 5 in to open San Francisco's Chase Center - have traded for superstar Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, shipping out Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks, including the number four pick in Thursday's draft. More intriguing, the team could have between $27 and $32 million in cap space combined with a free agency pool that includes Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker. 

Since 2014, the Warriors have grown accustomed to arms races against them. Most notably the Houston Rockets - admittedly obsessed with the Warriors - who traded for Chris Paul in 2017 to achieve common footing. More recently - with James out of the Eastern Conference - Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri traded for Kawhi Leonard, a move that ultimately dethroned the Warriors two days ago. 

However, the Lakers' move comes at a unique time of peril in Golden State. Entering free agency, their two top targets - Durant and Thompson - will enter 2019-20 season expected to sit out at least half the season with major rehabilitation timetables. With both players expected to command maximum salary slots, the Warriors will enter next season - if both decide to re-sign - with two top players on the bench and little cap space to get better. 

It's appropriate the Lakers are the first team this summer to make a move toward championship consideration. For the last half-century, the franchise was everything the Warriors dynasty currently is. A healthy, star driven franchise that's had the likes of George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant donning its colors, helping the franchise win 15 titles. However, since 2013, the franchise hasn't reached the postseason, building a reputation for more off-court drama than on-court wins. Two months ago, Johnson - the team's Vice President of Basketball Operations - abruptly stepped down before the team's final regular season game, citing trust issues with general manager Rob Pelinka. 

Now - with the addition of Davis - the Lakers could be back to contending for titles. With its cap-space, they can bring at least one more near max player on the roster. 

As for the Warriors, more questions linger. DeMarcus Cousins and Kevon Looney will be free agents and the team will have to decide whether to extend a qualifying offer to second-year big man Jordan Bell. Worse, of the players with all-star experience, only Stephen Curry and Draymond Green will be expected full participants when training camp opens in September. 

Following Thursday's elimination, Draymond Green said it wouldn't be smart to count out the Warriors, citing their championship pedigree. Time will tell whether his words will ring true, but as the Lakers proved Saturday afternoon, the rest of the league is coming for their crown out West. 

NBA rumors: Kemba Walker Lakers' 'top target' after Anthony Davis trade

NBA rumors: Kemba Walker Lakers' 'top target' after Anthony Davis trade

After missing the playoffs in LeBron James' first season, the Lakers are re-tooling their roster, and it appears it will be an impressive overhaul.

After reportedly agreeing to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in a trade Saturday, the Lakers have their eyes on free-agent point guard Kemba Walker. In fact, the New York Times' Marc Stein reported that Walker will be the Lakers’ "top target.”

The Lakers need a point guard after including former No. 2 overall draft pick Lonzo Ball in the package headed to New Orleans for Davis.

With the Warriors wounded heading into the 2019-20 season, the Lakers see an opportunity to jump back to the top of the Western Conference. A starting lineup featuring Walker, LeBron, Kyle Kuzma and Davis would be scary, and should do some damage next season.

[RELATED: Finding hope for Warriors fans]

Look out, NBA. Here come the Lakers.