Warriors Wire: No Kevin Durant? NFL's Saquon Barkley picks Raptors to win NBA Finals

Jessica Schatz

[as originally published on warriorswire.usatoday.com]

The Golden State Warriors ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals find themselves without home-court advantage and down 0-1 for the first time in the Steve Kerr era.

The Toronto Raptors were able to hold off the two-time defending champs 118-109 behind a stellar game from Most Improved Player candidate Pascal Siakam, who racked up 32 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. In a game that featured former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard shoot 5-of-14 from the field, most of his 23 points came from the charity stripe.

Enter NFL Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley of New York Giants. He was recently a guest on the Scoop B Radio Podcast hosted by Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson and shared, who he liked in this year’s NBA Finals.

Kawhi is doing his thing, not only just Kawhi, the Raptors. Obviously, the Drake thing, I think it is pretty dope not to just have Toronto, but Canada as a country and how they are all coming behind the Raptors. For me, I am a big Steph fan. One of my favorite videos on YouTube is “Success Is Not an Accident” and it is all about him and (how) he worked to get to where he is. If you look at Steph and no disrespect to Steph, he is not LeBron James, a freakish athlete.

He is a guy that’s an average athlete sometimes misses dunks in games, but his technique and his work ethic is the reason why he can shoot the ball so well and I am fascinated by that.

If I had to pick who is going to win, the Raptors are winning the Finals if KD (Kevin Durant) doesn’t come back.

With almost two minutes left in the third quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets, two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant left the game with a leg injury and did not return. It was later reported that Durant had a right calf strain. Following his MRI, KD has missed six straight games heading into Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Durant was ruled out for Game 2 in Toronto, however, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, there’s “some optimism” within the Warriors organization that KD could return for Game 3 or Game 4 at Oracle Arena.

Warriors Wire spoke with Jessica Schatz, a Pilates instructor, who helped Indiana Pacers’ guard Wesley Matthews recover from his Achilles injury. Schatz is not working with Durant on his calf strain, but she spoke about the nature of the injury and shared how much time he might miss with that type of injury:

It all depends on the level of injury. A strain is a tear, or micro-tear, in the muscle fibers. Depending on the grade of the tear (i.e., Grade I, II, or III), it could be anywhere from three days to six weeks, generally speaking. If it is very severe and requires surgery, the rehab process may take longer.

To be clear, based on the fact the Warriors are being extremely vague about Durant’s injury, this is all speculative. They have not revealed how severe his injury is, only that an MRI has confirmed it is indeed a calf strain. They have also said he is still experiencing pain, which means he is not going to play yet — nor should he. Since he has suffered a strained calf previously in his career, I am sure they will be extremely cautious in his return.

Game 2 between the Warriors and the Raptors is Sunday, June 2, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Rick Krusky