Daily Orange File Photo Published on June 16, 2016 at 10:06 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Liam Sheehan | Staff Photographer Turned overRichardson’s explosiveness toward the rim came with its drawbacks at times, as the occasional erratic drives mentioned in the case for drafting Richardson yesterday resulted in opponents breaking out in transition the other way.Richardson turned the ball over 79 times this season compared to 77 assists. He was the only ball handler on the Orange that had more giveaways than helpers — and it wasn’t even close. Michael Gbinije had a plus-55 assist-to-turnover margin, Trevor Cooney was plus-30 and Frank Howard plus-28.Richardson liked to use any and all space he had in front of him to maneuver the ball, but his lanky frame extended it too far out at times while exposing a flaw that needs reassuring before a team spends a lottery pick on him. Comments Related Stories Malachi Richardson: ‘Shots will fall eventually, that’s what I’m here to do’Crunching the numbers of Malachi Richardson’s impressive responses to low-scoring 1st halvesHow Michael Gbinije and Malachi Richardson fared at the NBA Draft Combine on ThursdayMalachi Richardson reportedly signs with agent, officially ending his college career Posting upRichardson will likely be a two-guard in the NBA, but if a team needs him to play the small forward spot and feels comfortable slotting him there because of his success at SU in the position, he’ll need to develop some sort of potency from the low block.Comparisons to Kevin Durant and LeBron James are obviously far-fetched, but the two small forwards in have both mastered the turnaround jumper and distributing from the low block —something Richardson didn’t get much of a chance to do since he mainly had the ball on the wing and the top of the key.The added diversity would make him more appealing despite his perceived niche at shooting guard. But the lack of an arsenal from the low block may be a roadblock for his draft stock. The entire mock draft world hasn’t piled onto the Malachi Richardson bandwagon yet, and those holdouts may have valid reason.While there is a strong case to take the 20-year-old in the back end of the lottery in next Thursday’s NBA Draft, a cluster of flaws that popped up throughout his freshman season raise justifiable doubts. Scoring inconsistencies, an unproven low-post repertoire and a turnover-to-assist ratio less than one could steer teams away from spending a lottery pick, or even one in the late teens, on the former Syracuse wing.Here’s some analysis countering yesterday’s case for drafting Richardson so high, this time campaigning for his drop in the draft for argument’s sake.Front-loadedFor whatever reason, Richardson fared far better in the points column in second halves of games than in the opening 20 minutes this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHis responses to low-scoring first halves were impressive — he only scored in single digits six times in 37 games — and stretches where he seemed unstoppable bailed out his stat line and, at times, the Orange.But that same streakiness is reason for slight concern, as cold periods in his freshman season flashed some inconsistency that can only hurt the otherwise natural scorer at the next level.
“I was hoping that today would be the day that he would get out on the floor. It’s not gonna be today, it’s probably going to be tomorrow,” Kerr told the room full of reporters Thursday. “So the hope would be that he can make it back before the end of the series.”Re-read the last part of Kerr’s comment, with a maximum of only three games remaining in the Finals, and you see the very real possibility is this: Durant may not make it back this postseason. Related News Warriors injury updates: Klay Thompson to play Game 4, but Kevin Durant out Warriors’ Mark Stevens banned 1 year, fined $500K for shoving Kyle Lowry Kevin Durant won’t play Friday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters.If you’re wondering, it’s been 30 days since Kevin Durant, who suffered a strained right calf in Game 5 of the Warriors’ West semifinals series against the Rockets. As NBC Sports Bay Area noted:”The Warriors aren’t saying he will miss what’s left of the NBA Finals, but the pattern of their statements since mid-May keeps sliding it closer to the possibility that the Toronto Raptors won’t have to deal with Durant.”It’s a mild calf strain. It’s more serious than we initially thought. He’s progressing. We don’t know when he’ll be back. He’s doing everything he can to get himself ready to play. We have to go with the guys we have. He had a really good workout today, ramped it up and it went well. He’s unavailable for Game 4, a game the Warriors desperately need to win trailing the series two-games-to-one.”Understand that the two-time defending champions have other health issues. DeMarcus Cousins, back in the Finals from a torn quadriceps, looked out of sorts in Game 3. Klay Thompson (strained hamstring) is expected to play in Game 4, but at what effectiveness? Draymond Green is dealing with a cranky knee, Andre Iguodala, 35, is limping on a sore calf, too, and Kevon Looney is trying to get back from a break in his ribcage.None is exactly Zdeno Chara playing with a broken jaw in the Stanley Cup Final, but it’s a sufficiently long list that Stephen Curry’s dislocated finger scarcely registers.“He’s just trying to get healthy,” Green said of Durant. “I’m not really sure if he’s been held out or he is – I mean, obviously, I think he’s still recovering and whatever. But, yeah, I don’t really know what’s Kevin’s day-to-day dealings with the training staff. I try to spend as (little) time in the training room as I can.”According to multiple reports, Durant is being diligent with treatments and rehab, sometimes going above and beyond what’s necessary, according to NBC Sports Bay Area, which adds that Durant “wants to play, yearns for a chance to help the Warriors achieve their desired goal of a three-peat.”But the clock is tick, tick, ticking.Back at it Friday pic.twitter.com/i6x2hSDMAY— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 6, 2019“Knowing he’s not playing Game 4, we know what our rotations are going to be, everybody will lock in and go win that game,” Curry said. “And then when we get on the plane to go to Toronto (for Game 5 on Sunday), ask the same question. And we hope at some point he will be back, and when he does, like we said, we’ll be able to transition our perspective with him available.”But until then it’s just on the daily, the moment is who is out there. Who is ready to play? And can we go win?”Big final question there, posed by the guy who scored 47 points in Game 3 and, in Thompon’s and Durant’s absence, it wasn’t enough. Who is Mark Stevens? What to know about Warriors minority owner who shoved Kyle Lowry Every bucket from @StephenCurry30’s #NBAPlayoffs career-high 47-point outing in Game 3 ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/soFwX46GFz— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 6, 2019“It would suck if Kevin can’t come back,” Thompson said. “I still think we would have a good chance to win the Finals, but obviously that takes a huge hit. I don’t think it would make us the clear-cut favorite anymore without him.”Adopting Curry’s “who’s ready to play?” mantra, Thompson takes on an outsized role starting Friday. If he can score a little and is up to containing Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, then Golden State has a shot at winning and buying Durant at least until Thursday’s Game 6 to try and get back.But it’s going on five weeks since the Warriors initially projected that Durant would be sidelined two to three weeks. Time’s running out.