When Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain against the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors we're more vulnerable than ever to being upset before the 2019 NBA finals. Just a few days later, the defending champs are all but certain to win the West for a fifth straight year.

Durant's injury is much less serious than it initially seemed, and Golden State didn't need him to clinch their second-round series on the road against the Houston Rockets. After taking care of James Harden and Co. in six games, the Warriors should have no problem getting past the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

The Blazers have had one heck of a playoff run. Damian Lillard was outstanding in the first round when Portland defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. It was CJ McCollum who shined in the second round against the Denver Nuggets, capping off the series with 37 points in Game 7.

Lillard and McCollum don't have what it takes to seriously challenge this Warriors' team.

That's no slight against Portland's guards, who arguably make up the second-best backcourt in the entire league. They simply don't have nearly enough help to defeat an even better set of guards in seven games.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson took Game 6 to remind everyone who might have forgotten just how good the Warriors were before they signed Durant.

The Splash Brothers combined to score 60 points in the clincher over Houston, shooting 11-24 from three-point range. All of Curry’s points came in the second half when Golden State faced the prospect of having to return to Oracle Arena for Game 7 without Durant.

Durant is expected to return at some point in the conference finals, though his status for Game 1 remains unclear. DeMarcus Cousins could even return to the roster against Portland after suffering a quad injury in the first round.

No matter when we might see Durant or Cousins again, that won't be an issue against Portland. Beyond Curry and Thomspon, the Warriors know they can rely on Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, both of whom have elevated their games this postseason.

Who can the Blazers trust besides Lillard and McCollum? As well as the likes of Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood have played, you've got no shot against the defending champs if they are going to be your third and fourth-best players.

Hood hyperextended his knee in Game 7 against Denver and is hopeful to be ready for Game 1 Tuesday night at Golden State.

The Warriors lead all teams in the playoffs with a 117.4 offensive rating this postseason. They led the NBA in the regular season with 114.8 points per 100 possessions.

Even if Golden State’s defense reverts to bad habits, as it has during some of their playoff losses, Portland can't keep up with the Warriors.

Portland has faced Golden State twice in the postseason during the Warriors’ current dynasty. The Blazers only took one game from Golden State when they met in the 2016 conference semifinals. Portland didn't stand a chance the following year in Durant's first postseason series with the Warriors as the Blazers were swept in the first round.

If the Blazers can win two games this time, it should be considered a real achievement.

Series Prediction: Golden State in five

Kevin Durant Warriors Blazers
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant dribbles against Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner during the first quarter in Game 1 of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on April 16, 2017. Reuters/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports