Game 6 of Warriors-Rockets is on at 8pm my time tonight (we call it central, not Ty time). I have been watching this series most intently during the NBA playoffs. It’s been intense, well played, physical and fun to watch. I don’t like either team, but I despise the Rockets, so I have found myself oddly rooting for the Warriors.
I’m also a big KD fan. I loved him when he was with the Thunder. He was my favorite player on my favorite team. I was then upset when he joined the Death Star Warriors. They didn’t need him, but they got him, and they then became the enemy. Everyone outside of California rooted against them. They became the Yankees. They were the Patriots. They were the front runners. But, as I stated earlier, I’ve found myself wanting them to beat the Rockets. And KD was doing everything in his power to make that happen. He has been, by a wide margin, come at me James Harden fans, the best player in this series. He carried the Warriors to wins in games 1 and 2. He led the bear comebacks in games 3 and 4. And when they squandered their 20 point lead the other night, KD was the guy to make the big shot.
That’s why Durant’s calf strain is such a bummer. When I watch the playoffs I want to see the best battle the best. We were getting that from Harden and KD. They were going at it offensively. KD was abusing Harden when he would get switched on him. I thought it was a great move by Steve Kerr, or maybe it was Mike Brown, to put KD on Harden on defense. His length has clearly bugged him. KD was proving how great of a playoff player he is. Then this stupid non contact injury occurred. He was running up the court and grabbed at his leg like someone slapped him. I thought he tore his ACL. So did the guys calling the game.
This totally changes everything in this series. KD was doing it all for the Warriors at the highest of levels. Steph has been off all series. Klay has come and gone and his defense has been rough. Boogie is out. The only other guy who’s even close to matching KD is Draymond. But Draymond can’t score like KD can. The Warriors need him if they want to beat the Rockets. And I know Rockets fans will say that they didn’t have CP3 last year, and if he was healthy they would have won. I agree. I wish he didn’t get hurt either, but he gets hurt all the time.
This is the first crushing injury of KD’s career. I know he missed a good chunk of a season while in OKC, but that didn’t happen in a great playoff series. This is such a bummer. Without KD, I don’t think the Warriors can beat the Rockets. This is their best, and possibly only chance to win a title. This is their window. This is their opportunity. And it all comes from a non contact injury. That stinks. This dampens What is going to be the best series of the entire 2019 NBA playoffs. I wish both teams could get through an entire series without a star getting hurt.
This is cruel to NBA fans. I’m bummed by this, and I say again, I don’t like either of these teams. But, I love good basketball, and with KD out, and how the other Warriors have looked, I think we will be robbed of 2 more good to great games. What a bummer.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
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