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OAKLAND — Before Wednesday night’s game at Oracle Arena, I asked Portland coach Terry Stotts whether Kevin Durant’s calf injury was sort of an equalizer for the Trail Blazers.

“I don’t know if I would use the word ‘equalizer,’ ” Stotts replied. “Certainly, they are a better team with him than without him, but they went on a really good run when he was out (in March and early April).”

Stotts has been around the game a long time, knows it well. And he was right about this one. The Warriors went into Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round series without one of their best players — without one of the NBA’s top five players — and ran away from the visitors with the acceleration of Rickey Henderson, who happened to be among the spectators here. Golden State breezed to a 110-81 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

It was like the Warriors hardly missed Durant. They got a couple of huge shots from rookie Patrick McCaw, some monster dunks from Javale McGee (so what else is new?), 13 points from Ian Clark and even quality minutes from James Michael McAdoo.

All of which brings up an interesting question. How many players would the Warriors have to lose for Portland to win this series?

Wednesday, the Oakland infirmary included not just Durant, but Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes. Livingston hasn’t had a great season, but he remains one of the Warriors’ top reserves, a legit ball handler and harassing defender. Barnes is mostly a role player, but a valuable one with toughness and lots of playoff experience.

Those absences weren’t enough to lift the Blazers. Not even close.

The going will be tougher for the Warriors in Portland on Saturday and Monday. But is there anything to make you think they couldn’t win both games without Durant? He’s out with a calf strain suffered in Game 1, probably nothing major. But why not sit him on a divan, prop up his left leg with a pillow and feed him peeled grapes until the West’s semifinal round?

I don’t mean to trash the Trail Blazers. They could probably beat three or four teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs. And let’s not forget that they, too, are missing an important player — Jusuf Nurkic, the massive young Bosnian center. Nurkic’s presence would make a difference for Portland. But not THE difference.

Alas, the Trail Blazers are an incomplete entity. They have a fabulously talented backcourt tandem and a bunch of other guys who can make a pass or set a screen or grab a rebound, but spend much of their time hoping they’re not asked to take a crucial shot.

The Blazers’ weaknesses have been made obvious in this series. Because the Warriors are the completest of teams. Which is why they can lose Durant, Livingston and Barnes and win by 29 points, on a night when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, those famed marksmen, combine to hit just 12 of 35 shots.

What, really, would be enough to change the direction of this series? How many twisted ankles, gouged eyes and inflamed appendixes would it take for the Trail Blazers to win?

Let’s look at some projections.

Warriors play without Durant, Livingston and Barnes: This serves as our baseline, because we saw it Wednesday. Golden State by 29.

Warriors play without Durant, Livingston, Barnes and Andre Iguodala: Now you’re talking some real bench depletion. Iguodala has been on a tear for weeks, and is probably the Warriors’ fifth-best player. This could really open up some doors for the Trail Blazers’ Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard and … and … who am I kidding? Golden State by 17.

Warriors play without Durant, Livingston, Barnes, Iguodala, McCaw and Zaza Pachulia: Stop nickel-and-diming me. Golden State by 10.

Warriors play without Durant and Curry: The Warriors entered this series with three NBA Most Valuable Player trophies, two for Curry and one for Durant. The Trail Blazers have none. Take out these two megastars and it’s a clean slate. But Thompson and Draymond Green would STILL be the best two players on the floor. Golden State by 14.

Warriors play with Durant, Curry and Thompson: Now it’s getting interesting. You’re talking about a combined 72.7 points per game in the regular season. Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum would do some scoreboard lighting, for sure. But Draymond Green would block seven shots, dish out 14 assists and challenge everyone on both teams to a fight. Golden State by 2.

Warriors play without Iguodala, McGee, McCaw, Livingston, Barnes, McAdoo, Ian Clark, David West and Damian Jones: That’s right. Only the usual starting five take the court. Coach Steve Kerr asks them to play 48 minutes each. Their feet are bleeding through their signature sneakers by mid-fourth quarter. Pachulia spends much of the second half standing in the paint on the defensive end. Golden State by 1.

Warriors play with all the dudes listed in the previous example, but also without Pachulia: The rare four-man lineup leaves Kerr without exciting options. The coach can insert himself as a third guard (you know he could still hit the 3 if left entirely alone), or enlist assistant coach Jarron Collins, just 38 years old. Other possible starters include a “Strength in Numbers” T-shirt stuffed with stat sheets and hung on a coat rack, the old guy who balances on stacked chairs as halftime entertainment and a life-size cardboard cutout of Pachulia, which might occasionally be hard to discern from the real Zaza.

I’m giving this one to Portland, by 4.

So you’re saying there’s a chance? Yes, Trail Blazers, I’m saying there’s a chance. Not a great one, though.

You can reach Phil Barber at 707-521-5263 or phil.barber@pressdemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Skinny_Post.

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