After he went off for 36 points last night and played the final 13 minutes of the game without a break, Klay Thompson will get a well-deserved rest in Sacramento tonight, along with veterans Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala.
Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. are all out for the Warriors tonight in Sacramento. Resting on the second night of a back-to-back. Draymond Green will play.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 3, 2022
Resting Klay Thompson on one half of a back-to-back has been standard since his return from two-and-a-half years off, but it seems especially prudent 24 hours after he logged 39 high-intensity minutes in a must-win game against the Utah Jazz. Plus, it gives him a chance to ice his extremely hot hands, because he was on fire in the fourth quarter. It’s also possible he’ll get cortisone or some other treatment, because Klay Thompson hasn’t been passing up any shots this year.
Still, it’s clear Klay hates any chance to play the Kings, the team he had his 37-point quarter against in 2015. Back in February, he put up 20 points in the first half against them. Something about that team motivates him, whether it’s the purple and black uniforms, the sideline antics of Slamson the Lion, or the fact that they have the same name as California’s longest river, since Klay draws strength from all major bodies of water.
Iguodala rests after three games back in the rotation, the first time he’d played three straight games since January. He looks pretty spry, but he’s still the NBA’s second-oldest player, and skipping this game is a no-brainer. Porter played 30 minutes last night, his second-longest outing of the season, so he and his sore back can also use a break. Thanks to a scheduling quirk that sees the Warriors close the season on a back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans next weekend, the vets will all get a full four days off before Thursday’s matchup with the Lakers in San Francisco.
This also means that rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody should get some extended playing time again, having fallen out of the rotation once Iguodala and Draymond Green returned, along with Gary Payton II. We should also see the always-ready Splash Brother-In-Law Damion Lee, and perhaps even some minutes for forgotten man and dunk contest runner-up Juan Toscano-Anderson.
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings will also be shorthanded, with De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes, and Terence Davis missing the game, and center Alex Len questionable. That means the offense will run through former Warriors champions Harrison “The Black Falcon” Barnes and Justin Holiday. Expect a lot of minutes for rookie Davion Mitchell, who had a big game against the Dubs earlier this year, and “The Michael Jordan of Delaware,” Donte DiVincenzo. Yes, that’s really his nickname.