It’d been two and a half years since the world had seen the Splash Brothers together on an NBA court when Klay Thompson made his return to the game earlier this month. Thompson was out 941 days with the torn ACL & Achilles. Now nine games into his comeback, Thompson is averaging 15.8ppg and shooting 35.4 percent from three-point range. Everyone knew it would be a slow build to what Thompson and Stephen Curry were before game six of the 2019 NBA Finals. After Saturday night’s victory over the Brooklyn Nets, it seems we might be seeing full-throttle Steph and Klay a lot sooner than expected.
Although neither Curry nor Thompson led the team in scoring against the Nets, Golden State’s championship duo scored the final 17 points for the Warriors in closing out Brooklyn, 110-106. For Warriors fans, the joy of seeing Thompson return after two brutal lower extremity injuries had to be a great feeling. But the feeling of having the Splash Bros back on the floor and getting back to their old form must be something out of this world.
I called this before the season, and the non-believers scoffed at the notion of Golden State competing in the Western Conference this season. Ha! Well, they’re doing that and then some halfway through the year. Although the Warriors are three games behind the Suns for the top spot out west right now, I’d still favor them over Phoenix in the conference Finals. And yes, I’m already calling that shot as well. I’ve said this for about six weeks now. Warriors-Suns will be your WCF matchup in 2022. We just don’t know which team will have home-court advantage yet.
Even with Klay’s progression every game, we aren’t anywhere close to where the duo of him and Steph will be in late May. Thompson is on a minute’s restriction and only playing about 23 per game right now. We’re witnessing what they’re still capable of (after most wrote them off), and it’s only going to get better over the next couple of months. Well, better for Warriors fans, scary for the rest of the association. And that’s with Curry’s recent shooting struggles. He’s below 40 percent on his three-point attempts for the first time in his career. Just the threat of having both on the court will be a tall order for teams come playoff time. Last night against the Nets, Curry and Thompson scored 23 of Golden State’s 32 fourth-quarter points.
With Thompson back in the lineup, there are only a couple of teams I can see giving the Dubs a run for it in the postseason. I think Brooklyn at full strength and the Milwaukee Bucks (Giannis Antetokounmpo is just a beast inside) are the two teams that have a great chance at beating Golden State in a series. The Nets have three-superstar level players, and now that we know Irving will be able to play in San Francisco, should this be the NBA Finals matchup, that should be worrisome for Warriors nation. And well, Giannis is Giannis, and he would be hell for the Warriors to deal with in the painted area.
If all continues according to plan, don’t be surprised when the Warriors are still playing come June. They’d be picking up where they left off three years earlier, only this time minus Kevin Durant. Most of the world outside northern California doubted them and said it was over after last year’s failure. But Golden State didn’t panic, they just retooled, and now they’re ready for that second act. It’s time to unleash the new and improved Splash Bros on the world, prove all their detractors wrong, and take another title home to the Bay Area.