The Golden State Warriors escaped the worst of the possible outcomes from Kevin Durant’s knee injury on Tuesday night, but they will still be without one of their superstars for an extended period. The Warriors will be without Durant, who was diagnosed with a bone bruise and an MCL sprain in his right leg, for at least the next four weeks, beginning with a visit to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
Durant went down two minutes into Tuesday’s 112-108 loss at Washington when center Zaza Pachulia was shoved to the ground and fell back into Durant’s leg, bending the knee awkwardly and leading to great concern among the Golden State staff and players. The worst fears were pushed aside when the MRI results were released on Wednesday, and the All-Star forward will be evaluated in four weeks and could return before the end of the regular season. “Is it good news to miss one of your players with an injury like this? No, that’s not good news,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters on a conference call. “But I guess it could be worse, I suppose.” Chicago fans can sympathize with Warriors fans after watching a young Derrick Rose win an MVP award and spend the next few seasons dealing with a series of knee injuries that torpedoed the team’s chances.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE HISTORY: The Warriors opened as seven-point road favorites but early Thursday morning that line was bumped up to 7.5. The total hit the board at 219 and has been bet up to 219.5. Check out the complete line history here.
Warriors – SF Kevin Durant (Mid-April, knee)
Bulls – SF Paul Zipser (Questionable, ankle), PG Michael Carter-Williams (Questionable, knee)
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Warriors (-15.6) – Bulls (-2) + home court (-3) = Warriors -10.6
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (50-10 SU, 27-31-2 ATS, 26-34 O/U): Golden State is expected to bring in veteran forward Matt Barnes to fill Durant’s roster spot as the team navigates a rough portion of the schedule that includes five of six on the road to begin March. “I’m definitely relieved,” All-Star forward Draymond Green told ESPN of Durant’s injury. “I thought it would be way worse. Being away weeks sucks, but we will take that over what was initially thought.” An uptick in production from Stephen Curry could help ease the transition to life without Durant for the time being, as the reigning two-time MVP is just 2-of-20 from 3-point range over the last two games.
ABOUT THE BULLS (30-30 SU, 30-30 ATS, 24-35-1 O/U): Chicago had a four-game winning streak come to an end when it allowed a season high in points and watched star swingman Jimmy Butler go cold in a 125-107 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Butler managed eight points on 3-of-13 shooting and is shooting 33.9 percent from the floor in three games since the All-Star break. “I don’t know what it was,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters of Butler’s shooting woes on Tuesday. “We just couldn’t get him into the flow, into the rhythm. We ran a lot of actions for Jimmy that normally he converts on. Jimmy, he’s going to be fine. He’ll bounce back. We’ll have a good practice (Wednesday) and hopefully play great on Thursday.”
* Warriors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
* Bulls are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 5-0 in Warriors last 5 games following a ATS loss.
* Under is 4-1 in Bulls last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 61 percent of Covers users are siding with the road favorite Warriors and Under is picking up 65 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.