Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday at 4 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.
When Kevin Durant took the floor in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night in Toronto, it was his first game action in nearly five weeks.
We can all agree that if this was the regular season, he wouldn't have been in uniform. But it was the NBA Finals and the Warriors were on the brink of elimination.
And unfortunately, KD is paying the price as all reports indicate he sustained a torn right Achilles tendon.
The reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP wanted to play against the Raptors and he was medically cleared. But as Chris Haynes of Yahoo writes, Durant wasn't completely healthy:
Over the past two weeks, Durant fought valiantly to push up his return date. Even though he was cleared for Game 5, Durant was not anywhere close to 100 percent, sources said.
The individual workout sessions and the light practice session on Sunday could not simulate the rigors of an ultra-competitive championship game.
It's absolutely incredible that Durant was able to score 11 points (3-for-5 from the field) in 12 minutes, and do stuff like this on the defensive end:
Unbelievable block by Durant. No clue how he made up the ground to pin Siakam’s layup pic.twitter.com/uSe70iaI0q— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 11, 2019
Again, Durant making his presence felt on the defensive end (and it leads to two free throws the other way) pic.twitter.com/xw7CgCReY6— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 11, 2019
"He was cleared to play tonight -- that was a collaborative decision," Golden State general manager Bob Myers told the media after the Warriors' 106-105 win. "I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand in this world, and if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department.
"The people that worked with him and cleared him are good people. They're good people."
Sadly, this story is only beginning as more and more information will eventually come to light.