Warriors

Warriors' Kevin Durant will not play in NBA Finals Game 2 vs. Raptors

Warriors' Kevin Durant will not play in NBA Finals Game 2 vs. Raptors

Once again, the expected has become a reality.

Kevin Durant (right calf strain) hasn't played since Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round NBA playoff series with the Rockets and missed the Dubs' Game 1 loss to the Raptors in the NBA Finals.

While KD did travel with the team to Toronto, it was always unlikely he would play in Game 2.

On Friday, head coach Steve Kerr confirmed Durant would not play Sunday in Game 2. 

"The thinking is when he can play, he'll play," Kerr told reporters in Toronto on Friday. "It's not like, you know, this is a sore ankle or his knee is sore or whatever and he can play through it. This is a tricky one. If you reinjure the calf then that's it, he's done for the series."

The Warriors desperately missed Durant's offensive game in Thursday's 118-109 loss to the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.

While Durant reportedly could return midway through the series, his injury is so severe that he "would be weeks away" from coming back if it had occurred during the regular season. 

Kerr told the media that Durant traveled to Toronto be close to the team and medical staff, not because he is close to playing. 

The Warriors didn't miss a beat during the Western Conference finals without Durant, but the Raptors pose a much bigger challenge.

Their athletic defense bothered the Warriors throughout Game 1. While Steph Curry dropped 34 in the loss, Golden State's other players struggled greatly, and the Dubs clearly missed having the ability to throw the ball to Durant and have him get them a bucket when everything breaks down.

[RELATED: Warriors reportedly worried about NBA Finals chances without KD]

The Warriors will need to buckle down in Sunday's Game 2 or else they risk heading back to Oakland in a two-games-to-none series hole that will be hard to climb out of with or without Durant.

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell is rapidly approaching a date some NBA observers have circled since the Warriors acquired him this summer.

Golden State can trade Russell as soon as Sunday, Dec. 15, and the 23-year-old has been the source of trade speculation during his time in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Wednesday, citing sources that the Minnesota Timberwolves "remain interested in Russell" and that the guard "seems to be realistic in understanding that he may not be long for the Warriors once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson return to full health."

Russell is averaging a career-high 22.4 points per game this season to go with 6.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds, serving as the top offensive option in the absence of his All-Star teammates. He knew he wouldn't play much with Thompson this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but Curry's broken hand threw a wrench into the Warriors' -- and thus Russell's -- prospects this season. Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised how Russell has handled the rumors surrounding him. 

"Money doesn't buy peace of mind," Kerr said Friday morning (H/T San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau). "It doesn't buy a sense of belonging, a sense of, 'Alright, this is my team.' If there's speculation that you're going to be traded all the time, I don't care how much money you make, I don't care who you are. That's tough. That's no fun to deal with, and this season has been nowhere close to what D'Angelo thought it would be when he first signed with us.

"There's no Steph. We're struggling to win games. He's had his own injuries, and we're throwing all kinds of different lineups out there based on the other injuries we've faced." 

Russell has played in just 15 of the Warriors' 27 games this season, playing on a team that looks far more like the Los Angeles Lakers of his first two seasons than the playoff-contending Brooklyn Nets a year ago -- let alone the reigning Western Conference champion Warriors. 

[RELATED: How Warriors' Chriss earning chance to start at center]

Kerr, who entered this season with the highest winning percentage in NBA history (.785), is as aware of Golden State's dramatically different reality as anyone. He said it has only brought out the best in Russell. 

"So given all that, he's played really well, and he's been a great teammate and he's doing everything he needs to do to solidify his position here," Kerr continued. "But this is the NBA here, and we never know what's coming, what's happening. So, it's a difficult position to be in in general, but for him in particular it's strange set of circumstances and he's handling it really well." 

Whether or not the Warriors trade Russell, it's clear Kerr holds him in high regard.

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Warriors two-way guard Ky Bowman made his G League debut Friday night in Santa Cruz.

He dominated the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. 

The Boston College product could have scored 40 points if he really wanted to, but he picked his spots and made sure his teammates were getting good looks.

After shootaround in Utah on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked what Bowman can work on while he's with the Sea Dubs.

"He's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass," Kerr said. "And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

Bowman clearly listened to the eight-time NBA champion.

[RELATEDWhy Dubs might be very active before, after trade deadline]

Also, "Sky Bowman" was on full display.

The 22-year-old will be back in action Sunday afternoon as Santa Cruz faces the Northern Arizona Suns. Watch the game at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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