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Warriors vs. Celtics: Who will guard Kyrie Irving with Klay Thompson out?

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With Klay Thompson sitting tonight’s game out due to injury, the Warriors will have to figure out how to guard Kyrie Irving without their primary perimeter defender.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics
Nov 16, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball around Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors will be facing the Boston Celtics without the help of Klay Thompson, who will miss his second straight game with knee soreness (as discussed earlier today).

Of course, this is no reason to panic — the Warriors are still in first place in the Western Conference and I’d prefer a healthy Thompson heading into the playoffs. However, in terms of tonight’s matchups, Thompson’s absence means that the Warriors will need to find another way to guard ball handling phenom — and familiar foe — Kyrie Irving.

With Thompson out, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle noted earlier today that Thompson’s “...absence Tuesday should free up more opportunity for Damion Lee, Quinn Cook, Alfonzo McKinnie, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala.”

Mark Medina pf the Bay Area News Group broke down players who could possibly see more minutes due to Thompson’s absence as well as options to replace reserve big man Kevon Looney’s minutes:

McKinnie started in Thompson’s absence against Philadelphia, though he played only seven minutes before suffering his own injury. Damion Lee is also expected to receive increased playing time after scoring 12 points and going 4-of-5 from 3 in 26 minutes against the Sixers. With Looney’s absence, second-year forward Jordan Bell is expected to log significant playing time while Draymond Green and Jonas Jerebko will likely have occasional spot minutes at center.

So who do you think will take the role of guarding Irving most often? Vote in our poll below and offer up your thoughts in the comments.


Who do you think will spend the most minutes guarding Kyrie Irving tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    (55 votes)
  • 2%
    Quinn Cook
    (5 votes)
  • 32%
    Andre Iguodala
    (59 votes)
  • 6%
    Damion Lee
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Shaun Livingston
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Alfonzo McKinnie
    (8 votes)
  • 6%
    Hard to say
    (12 votes)
  • 15%
    Don’t care
    (28 votes)
181 votes total Vote Now