The Golden State Warriors are one win away from their fourth NBA championship in the last eight years.
But just a week ago, things weren’t looking good for them, as they trailed the series 2-1 to the Boston Celtics.
With Klay Thompson stepping up and starting to heat up from the outside, the Warriors won the next two games to take themselves to the brink of the mountaintop.
Thompson is still working his way back from the ACL and Achilles injuries that forced him to miss the previous two seasons, and with a couple of exceptions, we haven’t really seen him at his best yet this year.
But he has shown glimpses of it in these playoffs, and if he has a monster game to help Golden State clinch the world title, he can go from a star to something approaching a legend.
It Has Been A Rough Few Years For Thompson
After he helped Golden State win three championships in four years, Thompson tore his ACL just as his team was losing the 2019 Finals to the Toronto Raptors.
It forced him to spend the entire next season rehabbing, and when he then tore his Achilles in late 2020, he missed all of last season as well.
Thompson finally returned to game action this January, and regaining his mojo has been a gradual process for him.
He tends to have a great game every now and then, but he has had trouble stringing together good or great games consistently.
But as the season has worn on, he has shown signs of finding more consistency.
In the past two games, he has hit a combined 9-of-21 from beyond the arc, which is pretty much vintage Thompson.
Overall, in the playoffs, he is shooting 44.0 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from downtown, both of which are just about in line with his career playoff shooting percentages.
He could be due for an explosion, either in Game 6 or in Game 7, if necessary.
Thompson Has Been Huge In Game 6s This Year
In the second round of the playoffs against the young and dangerous Memphis Grizzlies, Thompson went off for 30 points while hitting 8-of-14 from beyond the arc, as well as eight rebounds and three blocked shots in a 14-point win.
Then he had 32 points and another eight 3-pointers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals to put away the Dallas Mavericks.
These two performances have led to the creation of a meme.
Game 6 Klay coming soon 😈 pic.twitter.com/UnlXvEFm8A
— O🅿️timistic Warriors fan (@GoIdenState) June 16, 2022
Such performances haven’t been limited to this year.
In Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals, facing elimination on the road versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thompson had 41 points and knocked down 11 3-pointers, with much of that production coming in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors won, setting up a Game 7 triumph for them.
Then two years later, in the same situation against the Houston Rockets, he made nine 3-pointers and scored 35 points to cause the same result.
Thompson certainly seems ready for the opportunity to do something like that again.
“I’ve never been so excited to go to Boston”
Game 6 Klay 🔜
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 14, 2022
If he does something like that again in Game 6 or Game 7 in a Warriors win, Thompson can go down in NBA Finals lore.