Hasn’t anyone learned their lesson?
The Golden State Warriors currently hold a 32-30 record and are in possession of the Western Conference’s fifth slot. They’ve stayed relevant despite being without Stephen Curry since he went down with a leg injury on February 4th. But NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the Davidson product could return during a road trip that kicks off against the Los Angeles Lakers and ends against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With one splash brother returning and Klay Thompson beginning to heat up, the Dubs are a team that should be feared come playoff time. A healthy Golden State backcourt is an opponent’s nightmare given their shooting acumen and combined experience. It is fully possible that Thompson and Curry can guide the Warriors to their second championship in a row.
The Warriors currently have the NBA’s 12th best field goal percentage and third best three-point percentage. Even the most casual basketball fans know that the Dubs take great pride in their shooting ability, a trait that has been headlined by Curry and Thompson for the better part of the last decade.
Before sustaining his injury, Curry was shooting at a 49.5% clip from the field, and a 42.7% mark from range while averaging 29.4 points and 6.4 assists. Thompson, while past his prime, has also been effective. He’s shooting 40.9% from distance and averaging 22.1 points per game. Over his past 5 games, he’s shot 49.12% from the field and had a 42-point outburst against Houston Rockets on Feb. 24th.
Having both Curry and Thompson available will give the Warriors an immediate offensive boost. Further, it will open the floor for other players such as Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins. The Dubs thrive in open space, but the splash brothers do not need much of it to score. Both players can hit tough jumpers in tight situations, and will draw a lot of attention away from other individuals who need excess space to succeed.
On the defensive side, the splash brothers’ past playoff experience could help head coach Steve Kerr re-establish a unit that finished last season with the NBA’s best defensive rating. Neither Curry or Thompson are known for their defensive prowess, but their combined wisdom could help younger players such as Donte DiVincenzo, Kevon Looney, and Ty Jerome find their footing.
After a 123-105 win on Tuesday over the Portland Trail Blazers, Thompson made it clear that he can feel momentum shifting, especially with Curry’s return on the horizon.
“I feel it, yeah,” Thompson told NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Warriors Postgame Live” after the game. “We all feel it. With 20 games left, it’s such a golden opportunity for us to increase our seeding, just get in a great rhythm and these role [players] are getting such great experience right now, it’s going to pay off huge come playoff time.”
“And I promise you this, when we’re healthy, no one wants to see us in the postseason. I promise you that.”
There were many who doubted the Warriors’ championship aspirations last year before they eventually defeated the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals. Some wondered if Curry and Thompson could still lead a team, and were quick to declare the Warriors dynasty dead.
Why make the same mistake? The Golden State Warriors may not be title favorites, but as long as Curry and Thomposn are healthy, the boys from the bay have a fighter’s chance.