With the Golden State Warriors on the brink of elimination trailing 3-1 to the Toronto Raptors, Kevin Durant plans to play in Game 5 on Monday night, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi.
Assuming nothing changes between now and game time, Durant will be making his first appearance since Game 5 of the conference semifinals more than a month ago. The Raptors have completely controlled this series and now have a 91-percent chance of winning the title, but nobody’s counting the Warriors out, especially not with this news.
That said, it’s a mistake to think that Durant — who will almost certainly be less than 100 percent and likely rusty, out of rhythm and in poor conditioning from so much time off — can just plop back into the lineup and magically turn Golden State back into a super-team. Fact is, they were 6-4 in the playoffs in the 10 full games he played, and they were in danger of going down 3-2 to the Rockets when he went down. And that was full-strength Durant.