The Golden State Warriors enter Tuesday’s nationally-televised matchup against the Boston Celtics without two key players. One of which is a starter in Klay Thompson while the other is backup forward Kevon Looney. The absence of both players will make an impact, but Thompson is a player who’s tough to replace for a number of reasons.
Not only does the 29-year-old log big minutes, but he’s one of the team’s top scorers, outside shooters and defenders. Specifically holding Celtics guard Kyrie Irving in check will likely become quite a bit tougher. This marks the second consecutive game Thompson has missed, which stems from a knee ailment.
As Mark Medina of The Mercury News detailed, Thompson was not at shootaround Tuesday, so there didn’t seem to be much optimism about him playing in this game.
There is good news, though, even with the talented scorer missing his second game against a strong Eastern Conference opponents.
Klay Thompson’s MRI Returns Clean
Warriors fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the news came about Thompson’s MRI. As The Athletic’s Shams Charania detailed, the results came back clean. In turn, this likely means there’s a good chance Thompson won’t miss an extended amount of time.
Going one step further, Warriors coach Steve Kerr provided a fairly optimistic update on both Thompson and Looney, as Medina and The Mercury News detailed.
“He’s feeling better,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Looney. “He thought he could play tonight, but we’re not going to do anything crazy. I would expect both guys to really benefit from having today off and not playing until Friday [against Denver]. Hopefully they’ll both be available, but not sure.”
Medina goes on to point out that the team does not consider the shooting guard’s knee injury to be serious. As things currently stand, there’s no exact timeline revealed for when Thompson could return, but the outlook is positive.
Warriors’ Tough Upcoming Stretch
The Warriors won’t rush Thompson back, especially considering the fact they’re holding a two-game edge on the Denver Nuggets for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. But they do have a tough stretch of schedule coming up in the immediate future. It’s technically already underway, as Golden State faced the Sixers and Celtics, but they follow that up with four of their next five against likely playoff teams.
Starting Friday, the Warriors face the Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. The final three games of that stretch are all on the road, and they’ll proceed to meet the Minnesota Timberwolves and then return home to play the Indiana Pacers.