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Durant Could Be Doubtful For Warriors

Updated: .April 20, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Golden State Warriors remember last season, when Steph Curry tweaked his knee and was sat out for three games of a playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, partially as a precaution, by head coach Steve Kerr. Now maybe there’s a little “déjà vu” as we head toward Game 2 of this year’s series against Portland, with Kerr contemplating whether he will put Kevin Durant into the lineup, despite a strained left calf. The action will get underway at 10:30 PM ET at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, and America’s Bookie customers can stay involved with the game, and the action, even after the opening tip, as they access the two Live Betting options in their sportsbook interface.

It needs to be pointed out that there are Bay Area reporters who have classified Durant as “doubtful” based on what they have seen and what they have heard from inside sources. Durant was not involved in the shootaround, and there could be a certain sentiment that the Warriors could beat the Blazers without him. That’s probably true, so this could be “better safe than sorry” territory.

It would be a shame, as Durant, who had to sit out 19 games with a knee injury, then returned to play the final four games of the regular season, had 32 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1 on Sunday. In other words, he was getting back into the swing of things, and his teammates were once again getting accustomed to having him in the lineup. But keep in mind that the Warriors won 13 games in a row toward the end of the regular season without him.

In the NBA playoff odds posted on this game, Golden State is a considerable favorite:

Golden State Warriors -12.5
Portland Trail Blazers +12.5

Over 219 points -110
Under 219 points -110

In Sunday’s game, Portland gave Golden State a bit of a scare for three quarters, as they went into the final stanza all tied up. But G-State pulled away for a 121-109 victory, and they did something quite familiar for them against the Blazers – they had a very high percentage of their shots from the field. In fact, in the four encounters during the regular season, Golden State shot 56%, 59%, 51% and 46%, and they nailed 53% of their shots on Sunday.

There is no question of Portland was overly reliant on the guard combination of Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum, in the absence of center Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a fractured fibula and was out of action, as he will be for Game 2. McCollum and Lillard combined for 75 points, but the Blazers did not get what they were hoping for out of their role players, and that really has to change to give them a chance. At the same time, let’s also take note that Portland has still covered 14 of its last 17 games.

When the Blazers don’t have Nurkic, they have to go little smaller out there, and the fear at the beginning of this series, was that this was something that was going to play into the Warriors’ hands. After all, there is no team in the league that can play “small ball” quite like Golden State. So the matchup is kind of difficult, and that applies especially to the defensive end. Portland had the lowest defensive rating of any team in the NBA playoffs, and they just don’t have the stoppers – Lillard and McCollum included – who can deal with the shooters they are facing. Another thing we have to point out – right after Golden State lost Durant on February 28th, they went on a 12-1-1 “under” run. However, at the same time, they have averaged just under 123 points over their last 11 meetings against the Blazers. Nurkic could block some shots, so there is now less of an impediment in the middle, and let’s not forget that Durant’s impact is felt on defense as well. So we are still okay going with the OVER, as the Charles Jay/America’s Bookie Challenge continues with NBA playoff betting action on Wednesday night.

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