The Golden State Warriors have not been healthy all playoffs. We have seen injuries to DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney and Kevin Durant. The injuries to Cousins and Looney were thought to be season-ending and both fought back to prove that diagnosis wrong. As for Kevin Durant, he was off a month and came back in Game 5 against the Raptors with the Warriors down 3-1 and facing elimination. Unfortunately, his return did not go very well as he was re-injured and has damage to his Achilles' tendon in his right leg that could keep him out going into free agency. With all that has gone against them during this championship run, you would think the Warriors would fold. Instead, the resolve they've shown has only made them tougher to defeat. And as they won Game 5, the feeling began to sink in that they might be able to come back. No one knows whether it will happen or not, but there will need to be a few things happen undoubtedly.
Kevin Durant was leading the playoffs in scoring when he went down with injury. So with him down, the scoring load naturally falls more on Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. If the Splash Brothers give them 50 points combined, that is good production, but they will probably need more than that or other contributions. And this is where DeMarcus Cousins comes into play. When Cousins got his chance in Game 5, he made the most of it. Cousins had 14 points in twenty minutes in a critical game. With Cousins on the floor, the Warriors add another offensive weapon to take some attention off Thompson and Curry. He has to be as aggressive as he was in Game 5 from here on out to give the Warriors the best chance to win. It cannot be all on Klay and Steph to do it all.
Along with Cousins getting more time, Steve Kerr may want to remember the mantra of the Warriors when they dominance in the NBA first started. Strength in Numbers was what the Warriors were known for first, as they were one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Fast forward to this season and Kerr has not been using the depth as much in the playoffs. While it's true the Warriors are not as deep, they still have suitable depth to take down teams and wear them down and they must use that depth the rest of this series. Guys like Quinn Cook, Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie may not be the stars of the past coming off the Warriors bench, but they can help with timely shooting, smart play and good defense. If they are woven into the rotation consistently from here on out, then the Warriors will benefit from that and keep their stars fresh going down the stretch of games in order to finish Toronto off.
The Warriors were once thought dead in Toronto in the final minutes, but their championship heart would not let them die. And even though the odds are stacked against them to win this series, the Warriors can be the second team to buck the trend in the NBA Finals.