The Golden State Warriors are about to downgrade Kevin Durant to Matt Barnes. The only question is, for how long? Durant hyper-extended his left knee less than a minute into the Warriors loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. The Warriors are bracing for Durant to be out for weeks – if not months according to The Vertical.
The NBA Playoffs being on April 15th, about six weeks from today. The Western Conference Finals are a little over 10 weeks away and the NBA Finals tip-off in 13 weeks. MRI results will be announced today.
Whatever the prognosis, the Warriors are bringing in Matt Barnes to fill in for Durant. It’s hard to imagine a bigger downgrade. Durant has been his usual incredible self this season averaging 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks. The only stat that has seen a noticeable dip this year is field goal attempts. So the Warriors are replacing the most efficient version of Durant with a soon-to-be 37-year old journeyman who has been highlighted on TMZ many more times than SportsCenter in the past few seasons.
The good news for the Warriors is that they still have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. A nice contingency plan if there ever was one.