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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Warriors’ Drummond Green on Klay Thompson: ‘Give that guy credit’

SAN FRANCISCO — Drummond Greene previously said it was not a coincidence that the Warriors’ two-year hiatus from the playoffs came after Klay Thompson was out with persistent career-changing injuries.

Thompson’s fierce competitive spirit and his immense talent as one of the best two-way players in the league were a key component of the Warriors’ success during their five straight trips to the NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019.

When Thompson made his much-anticipated return in June after tearing his left ACL in 2019 and rupturing his right Achilles tendon in November 2020, there were doubts as to whether he could regain the elite form.

After 32 regular season games and 12 playoff appearances, Green believes it is time Thompson gets his due.

“Where he has come from January 9 till today is unbelievable. To be able to compete at this level and after everything he has gone through is amazing, Green said Thursday after practice. “I keep seeing narratives like Kel’s playing bad games, and I really leave the game like, ‘Man, he’s playing really good basketball.’ And yes, it really goes to show me that people can only recognize when you’re making a shot or a miss because the game he’s playing on the floor and the impact on winning has been the same. I’ve always struggled in the playoffs.”

Thompson is shooting in the post season at a more efficient clip than in the regular season. In 12 playoff games, he averaged 19.9 points on 45.6% shooting and converted 40.2% of his 3-point attempts while grabbing 4.5 rebounds per game.

His scoring has been excellent at times. He went without a score in the first half of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night, a game the Warriors ultimately won thanks to a collaborative effort to slow down Luka Donic and balanced contributions from Golden State players on offense. But Thompson finished the game reliably, with an effective 7 of his last-9 off the field, good for 15 points.

After the game, Thompson said he was proud that he scored 53.8% overall in the Warriors’ victory.

“I never feel good when I go home and I shoot incompetently, I was very happy with my shooting performance tonight,” he said. “There was no field goal in the first half, but that will never disappoint me. I will always hunt for my shot.”

Thompson knew the scoring would eventually come, but said he was still trying to get back to the level he was on the defensive with before his injuries. According to NBA Advanced Stats, when he was the primary defender, he along with Andrew Wiggins guarded Donick and kept the Mavericks star scoreless. Still, Thompson sees room to improve defensively.

“It’s tough,” Thompson said. “It is not easy to mark the best player for 40 minutes every night, and get the bucket at the other end, but it is something I love to do. All the best two guards to ever play the game played both sides of the ball, whether it was [Michael Jordan]kobes [Bryant] And [Dwyane Wade], guys I really used to idolize as a kid. They all competed on that side, so I just tried to follow the same mold. ,

World Nation News Desk
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