It’s been over two years in the making, but Klay Thompson is finally back.
That’s great news for the Golden State Warriors, and bad news for the rest of the league.
That is, of course, if Thompson can get his basketball legs underneath him and get back to his old form.
Let’s remember that Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, as well as the first 38 games of the 2021-22 season.
No one is fooling themselves into thinking that Klay will have an instant impact on the Warriors.
However, once he gets rolling and into the swing of things, Thompson enhances the Warriors in these three ways.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 13, 2022
3. Improved Perimeter Defense
Since entering the league, Thompson has always had a reputation as being a great two-way player.
His size, strength, and quickness make him a nightmare to score against.
He’s also a very smart defender with quick hands and the ability to see the whole court.
The Warriors currently have the top defense in the NBA in terms of points allowed.
Adding Thompson back into the mix will bolster their perimeter defense where they already rank in the top three in 3-point percentage, steals, and assists allowed.
2. Another Scoring Threat
What the Warriors need even more than an extra defender is another scorer.
They started the season off as one of the hottest teams in the league and still have the second-best record in basketball at 30-11.
But it seems like teams have finally started to figure out how to stop the Thompson-less Warriors.
Golden State also has some young talent on their team including Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II, but they haven’t been getting enough consistent production from them and other role players on the team.
The return of Thompson will take some of the load off of the backs of Curry and Wiggins.
Thompson is predominantly known as a 3-point shooter, but he’s much more than that.
He can score the ball posting up, driving, or with his mid-range game.
All in all, the Warriors will be better and more consistent on offense with Thompson in the lineup.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 10, 2022
1. Added Depth
The Warriors have plenty of solid players, but you can never have too many.
Getting Thompson back adds another body to their ranks which has proven difficult for many teams this year.
Whether it’s been injuries or COVID protocol, there have been a number of canceled or postponed games because teams simply don’t have enough players.
Obviously, Thompson is more than just another body.
Adding him back to the starting lineup will allow Poole to come off the bench and likely become one of the best sixth men in the league.
Golden State is arguably the best team in basketball without Thompson.
His return to the team could potentially put the Warriors over the top and makes their return to the NBA Finals even more likely.