Life without Kevin Durant begins now.
The Warriors won't have the services of their All-Star forward for at least four weeks, and likely longer.
So if the Warriors are keep their grip on the No. 1 seed in the West, it's paramount that the bench players step up in his absence.
That's biggest concern for Hall of Famer and former Warrior Rick Barry.
"Well, I think you still have to say they are a team that has to be contended with, for sure. Because again, they won a championship with those three guys, other than Kevin [Durant]. And it's a matter of how well the bench is going to perform, how [Andre] Iguodala's going to play, how Shaun [Livingston's] going to do, how [JaVale] McGee will fit into it. They have a lot of talent on that basketball team, so it's all going to be predicated on how well the rest of the team plays. And it's always been the biggest contention for me this season: how well is the bench going to play?" Barry said on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Wednesday.
With 22 games left on the schedule, Barry believes the Warriors' focus should be on the play of the bench.
"I think their entire focus the rest of the season needs to be for the bench to be totally focused about coming in, playing tough defense, trying to maintain leads when they come into games, trying to help if the team is struggling to maybe get them back in the game just like the bench did two seasons ago when they won. I think that was one of the primary weapons of the Warriors was how effective their bench was and that was always the big question mark for me,
"I wasn't worried about whether or not they were going to be a good offensive team with Kevin Durant joining them. I knew they'd be virtually unguardable with him and they would embarrass some teams, which they've done. That's going to be the key: what happens with the bench and how those reserve guys do because they still have the three guys that were the main cogs in winning the championship two seasons ago," Barry said.
Durant, who was officially diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise in his left leg, will be re-evaluated in four weeks. The Warriors haven't ruled out a return during the regular season, which concludes on April 12.