The Golden State Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for a good chunk of this season, yet somehow they have moved upward into fifth place in the Western Conference.
One reason is the play of Klay Thompson, who has had some big games lately, including two separate 42-point performances.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers praised not just Thompson’s play, but also his leadership in a Wednesday interview with 95.7 The Game.
Bob Myers admires the way Klay Thompson has stepped up and led the Warriors in Steph Curry’s absence https://t.co/kJPoxZ5ui2
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 2, 2023
“His leadership,” Myers said of Thompson. “… What I’ve loved about Klay since January is that he’s kind of put the team on his back in some respects, in games where Klay has won us the game.
“… He’s not the most demonstrative guy, but now he’s gesturing to the crowd, and he’s slapping his teammates and you can feel his will when you’re at the games.”
It has been a rough few years for Thompson, who not too long ago was one of the NBA’s premier two-way star wings.
He tore his ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals, which the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors, and the injury forced him to miss all of the following season.
Then just before the start of the 2020-21 campaign, Thompson tore his Achilles, which threw him back into the dark dungeon of long-term rehab.
Last season, he didn’t really start to look like his old self until April, and even after that, his offensive game tended to come and go.
So far this year, he’s averaging 22.1 points per game, and although he’s shooting a subpar 42.7 percent overall, he’s hitting 40.9 percent of his 3-point attempts.
But ever since early January, his overall field-goal percentage has been more in line with what he did prior to his 2019 ACL injury.
With Curry set to return to game action in the next several days, perhaps the Warriors will make a real surge between now and mid-April.
If they do, they will be a truly scary team come playoff time given their championship pedigree.NEXT: NBA Fans React To Today's Stephen Curry News