The Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA title in the last eight years in June, defeating the Boston Celtics in six games. It was an impressive climb back to the top of the mountain for the Warriors as they had missed the postseason the last two years.
A big reason for that was the injuries that the team was dealing with. Golden State saw numerous key players miss significant time, but no one was sidelined as long as Klay Thompson was.
Thompson got back on an NBA court this season for the first time since the 2019 NBA Finals. He tore the ACL in his left knee against the Toronto Raptors that year, sending him to the sidelines. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thompson was afforded a little extra time to get ready for his return, but he suffered another catastrophic injury while rehabbing.
Thompson ruptured his Achilles, which ended his 2020-21 season before it even began. All in all, more than two calendar years elapsed between appearances for him. He looked a little rusty at times, which is expected when a person is sidelined as long as Thompson was.
One NBA scout believes that we will see more of the old Thompson this season. After a full offseason of getting his body right, he should be able to get closer to the level we saw him perform at before the injuries.
“Klay still didn’t look like the ‘Old Klay’ during the Warriors’ run. He definitely had his moments, but there’s a level or two he still has untapped after the injury. I think he gets back there after a full offseason to work on his body. He should be sharper as a tough shot maker from deep, but the big area offensively will be his short-range game getting back to form. It’s very scary to think about what their offense will look like if that happens. Their younger guys are only going to keep getting better, too.”
That is a scary thing for opponents to think about. Golden State was good enough to win the NBA Finals this past season despite some hurdles. Thompson being further removed from his injuries and the high-upside youngsters they have continuing their development should make them an even more dangerous team.
While the offense is expected to come back, the scout is not as sure about the defense. Some of his lateral movement and quickness may never return after the injuries that he suffered and those naturally go away with age as well.
“There’s been a lot of dropoffs from where Klay used to be defensively, though. That’s made Wiggins somewhat indispensable as the main on-ball defender at this point. If Klay can recover some of that defensive impact he once had, they’ll be really tough to score against. I’m sure there will be progress at the very least.”
Andrew Wiggins emerged as their to-go ace defender, matching up with the best perimeter option on the opposing team. With Draymond Green still remaining a high-level defender, the Warriors could have the best defensive trio in the NBA with Thompson rounding into form.
LATEST NBA NEWS: Klay Thompson & Golden State Warriors Updates
The Warriors are an already formidable foe for teams to go up against and they look like they will only be better this upcoming season despite some of the losses that they suffered in free agency.
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