The return of Warriors guard Klay Thompson is closer than ever before, and the entire NBA world is starting to get excited, especially Warriors fans.
Exhibit A: Thompson and his Splash Brother, superstar guard Stephen Curry, practiced together for the first time in more than two years on Thursday — the day Golden State was supposed to play Denver, but the game was postponed.
Golden State plans for Thompson’s first start since the 2019 NBA Finals to happen during a home game in January. But with Thompson returning from not one but two catastrophic injuries, coach Steve Kerr warned of the obvious: it will take some time for Thompson to get his wind back when he finally does get back on an NBA court.
“It’ll take some time on both ends for him to really find the level of conditioning and level of play that we’re accustomed to seeing from him,” Kerr said. “When you’ve been out for 2½ years, there’s no replicating game time — real minutes in a real atmosphere. So, it’s going to take some time.
“But the good thing is, we’re going to have more than half of the season ahead of us once he comes back. More than enough time to really gain that endurance, that strength, that extra level that it takes to really perform at your best. It’ll come.”San Francisco Chronicle
This is why Thompson has worked on his conditioning for the last month or so. But nothing replicates NBA action, as Kerr says.
But as Kerr also mentioned, the Warriors have a lot of time before the playoffs. Plus, their record puts them atop the Western Conference at 27-7. Golden State is well-positioned to allow Thompson to return at a gradual pace.
If Thompson can resemble his All-Star self in any way, the Warriors could become a juggernaut come playoff time. That’s what Kerr is ultimately planning, and that result would be well worth the wait for Dub Nation — and for the Splash Bros., too.