The Golden State Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls last night without shooting guard Klay Thompson who the team has decided to keep inactive during back-to-back games. The good news is that Thompson should return against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday and will reportedly get a small uptick in playing time according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Steve Kerr said “the plan” is to bump Klay Thompson’s minutes up on Sunday. Not much. Maybe from 20 to about 24. But Kerr said it was important to see Klay play 10 straight third quarter minutes yesterday.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 14, 2022
Thursday’s loss against the Milwaukee Bucks was a tough one to watch for Golden State fans. However, the huge deficit to start the second half represented a unique opportunity for the Warriors to play Thompson past his usual 5 minutes per quarter bursts. The team played him for 10 straight minutes in the third quarter and sat him out for the rest of the game.
The Warriors are taking a long-term approach with Thompson’s minutes as they avoid overstressing him too soon while he acclimates back to the speed of NBA basketball. Although Thompson has looked better than most people expected since returning to play last week, he is still being limited to about 20 minutes a game. In his first three games, Thompson is averaging 14 points on 35.7% shooting from the field, and 35% shooting from the three-point line.