OAKLAND -- As anticipated based on his absence at morning shootaround, Kevin Durant was ruled out of Game 2 of Warriors-Blazers Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the official announcement two hours before the 7:40 tipoff.
“No, he won’t play,” Kerr said. “It’s not worth it.”
In addition to Durant, guard Shaun Livingston and forward Matt Barnes also will be miss Game 2. Kerr expressed optimism that all three players will be available for Game 3 Saturday in Portland.
“It’s just day to day,” Kerr said.
Durant sustained a left calf strain when he was kneed from behind by Portland center Noah Vonleh late in the third quarter of Game 1 on Saturday.
Though he was examined by a member of the Warriors training staff between the third and fourth quarters, Durant was initially said he was fine. He has since been confined to receiving treatment.
Though Durant scored a team-high 32 points in Game 1, the Warriors felt it best hold him out as a precaution. Because of the sensitivity of muscle strains, Kerr said he did not want to take any risks.
The Warriors led the NBA in offensive rating (113.2) during the regular season.
The Warriors are second in the league in offensive rating (115.8) in the playoffs.
Scoring is not an issue.
But will we see the Warriors run more pick-and-roll in the NBA Finals, specifically the Steph Curry-Kevin Durant combination?
"Steve (Kerr) isn't really into this much," interim head coach Mike Brown told ESPN's Zach Lowe. "He's more about spacing and movement -- and that's fantastic. I love Steve, and wherever I might go, I'm going to incorporate a lot of stuff he does.
"But in the playoffs, sometimes you have to attack a mismatch. When I need a bucket, that's what I'm going to do."
Mr. Kerr -- your response?
"Mike is right about me, but I also recognize the need to do it more as defenses get tougher," Kerr told ESPN. "It's about finding the right balance between isolating when we need to, and keeping the flow that makes us who we are."
During the regular season, the Warriors ranked last in pick-and-roll possessions per game -- both when the ball-handler ended the possession, or when the roll/pop man ended the possession.
Steph Curry averaged 6.1 pick-and-roll possessions per game -- 28th in the NBA.
That number is up to 7.5 per game in the playoffs.
“I think we’re still at our best when we’re simple about what we’re doing,” Curry recently told Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. “Whether it’s pick-and-roll and you’ve got everybody spaced. You’ve got shooters where they need to be. You’ve got the dive man where he needs to be with space to put pressure on the rim.
"You’ve got a ball-handler playmaker with it that can come off and shoot it, get a bucket. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be more complex than that. We’ve got the awareness that, that needs to happen.”
Success leads to flattery, which begets mimicry. Tremendous success leads to breathless flattery and ceaseless mimicry.
That’s where the Warriors are these days, a model franchise with a brain trust has gained respect across the NBA.
That’s why personnel executive Travis Schlenk is being recruited away by the Atlanta Hawks.
A superb talent evaluator who doesn’t stalk the spotlight, Schlenk is in negotiations to become Atlanta’s general manager and it is anticipated an agreement will be reached within 24 hours, NBCSportsBayArea.com confirmed through league sources on Wednesday.
That the Hawks targeted Schlenk as their next general manager was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski The Vertical.
Schlenk, 43, has served in various capacities for the Warriors since joining the franchise 2004, becoming assistant GM in 2001 and most recently serving as vice president of basketball operations and assistant GM.
He has had considerable input in Warriors drafting decisions in recent years and was a particularly vocal advocate for such selections as Draymond Green and Pat McCaw, among others.
Much of the appeal of the Atlanta job stems from the team having 11 picks over the next three drafts.
Schlenk, whose scouting instincts will be missed, is set to become the first key departure from the staff and roster that have been together throughout this season.
Assistant coach Luke Walton, who served as acting head coach for 43 games last season, was recruited away a year ago to become head coach of the Lakers. Assistant coach Alvin Gentry was recruited away in May 2015 to become head coach of the Pelicans.