At this point in the post season, everyone’s banged up. Kevin Durant is still in limbo. A purgatory of calf uncertainty that looms like a shadow over the Finals. Fred VanFleet lost a tooth and was bleeding from the face after catching an elbow.
So it wasn’t completely shocking to see Klay Thompson go down with a hamstring injury in the waning moments of game 2. Held out in game 3 because of it, Thompson overcame it all and returned for a critical game 4 at home. In what was potentially the last Warriors game ever played at Oracle arena, Thompson gave it everything he had.
He pitched in 28 points and six 3s, and some solid defense, but it wasn’t quite enough.
A Splash brother, doing what he can
It’s important to take these things in context. Through a perfect storm of facing a tough Raptors defense, and the Warriors’ roster general dearth of outside shooting behind our big three Golden State got beat in game 4. No other way to put it. The other team looked decidedly better on both ends of the court.
Outside of Thompson’s contribution, Golden State was absolutely atrocious from beyond the arch. The rest of the team was just two of 17 from deep in game 4 - making Thomson’s shooting all the more important in retrospect. This is a roster construction that is far removed from the bevy of dangerous wing players that have defined the Warriors dynasty.
Fitting GSW lose on 3pt shooting around steph/klay. Looks like Thunder roster pic.twitter.com/gQ5hfzktAi— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) June 8, 2019
Without the efficient night from Thompson, this loss could have been a blowout.
This isn’t new, but especially with the clouds of finality getting darker over this iteration of the Warriors’ dynasty, it is valuable to notice and appreciate Thompson’s abilities - and his heart. Here’s Steph Curry, talking about Thompson’s return:
“Definitely, he makes our entire team better. He showed that tonight obviously with the injury like that and to come back playing aggressive, hitting big shots and giving us a chance to even be in the game. So, obviously, he’s a gamer, and you love to go to war with guys like that. We have been doing it for a long time.”
There’s no way to not dwell on the most important takeaway from last night. The Warriors took a really painful loss, got swept in what could well be the last two games played at Oracle arena, and are facing an incredibly steep hill to climb if they are to dig out of the dreaded 3-1 hole.
But it has been done before. Could these Warriors do it? With Klay Thompson on the court, no one would say that it’s impossible.
Warrior Wonder: Klay Thompson
Who was your Warrior Wonder in Game 4 against the Raptors?
This poll is closed
Klay "I heart Rocco" Thompson
Kevon "Braveheart" Looney
Steph "crazy legs" Curry
Draymond "Mad Dog" Green
Andre "old man legs" Iguodala
Oracle "my new fans walk out early" Arena