- Kevin Durant has been out of the starting lineup since May 8, 2019, due to a right calf injury suffered during the Western Conference Finals.
- Only 11 teams have ever come back to win from a 3-1 deficit in NBA Postseason history. Only once has it ever occurred in the NBA Finals.
- Klay Thompson is listed to play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
OAKLAND, Calif. – According to ESPN’s NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant plans to play in Monday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The report comes after Durant was able to participate in a light practice on Sunday and a team shootaround drill Monday morning.
The Sunday practice was Kevin Durant’s first with the team since injuring his right calf on May 8, 2019 against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals. Durant was seen after the light workout with “two big ice packs wrapped around the lower part of his right calf and his right Achilles tendon,” according to ESPN.
However, after the team’s morning shootaround on Monday, Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr showed a bit of optimism for his return.
“It looked good and we’ll see where it all goes,” said Kerr.
The announcement quickly prompted sportsbooks to shift their lines. The Raptors were favored by 3.5 points by various online sports betting sites after winning Game 4. But, sites such as Bovada now only have Toronto favored by -1 point to win Game 5.
“He’s Kevin Durant. So if we have him out there he’ll be a threat, we know that,” said Kerr.
However, Kevin Durant isn’t the only player who has been battling injuries in this series. Klay Thompson, who missed Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals, has also been battling with a left hamstring injury.
Golden State Center Kevon Looney is also dealing with a nondisplaced first costal cartilage fracture on his right side. Even Andre Iguodala has had to battle through a lingering calf injury throughout this series.
While the odds for Game 5 have swung in momentum for Golden State, sportsbooks still overwhelmingly favor Toronto to win the series. Caesars sportsbook had Toronto listed at (-700) betting odds to win the 2019 NBA Finals after Game 4. They now only have them at (-575).
There have only been 11 times in the history of the NBA postseason that a team has come back to win from a 3-1 deficit in a series and only once has it happened in the NBA finals. That historic comeback came from the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.
USAOnlineSportsbooks.com thinks the possibility for Golden State to be on the opposite side of history will all have to come with a Game 5 victory. In order to achieve that Golden State will also have to have help from their entire roster, including former league MVP Kevin Durant.