The Warriors will be without one of their best players for the entire 2019-20 NBA season. Head coach Steve Kerr said on Tuesday that star guard Klay Thompson will most likely miss the entire year due to an ACL injury.
Thompson tore his left ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, which dealt Golden State a crippling blow in the series. The Toronto Raptors went on to win Game 6, and the title. Speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday, Kerr revealed that it is “unlikely” Thompson will return from the injury this season.
“An ACL for a basketball player is a full year recovery,” Kerr said. If it’s a full year for Klay that puts him out fo the season. We’ve left the door open if the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go.”
With the NBA season running through April, that would put Klay at the nine-month mark in terms of recovery, well short of the one year laid out by his coach and trainers.
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Warriors Move On Without Klay
The defending Western Conference champs will look drastically different this season. Kevin Durant signed a max deal with the Brooklyn Nets over the summer and Thompson will be sidelined with the injury. That puts the burden on Steph Curry and newly acquired guard D’Angelo Russell to fill the void left by KD and Klay.
Russell found his way to the Bay Area via a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn this past offseason. The move came one day after Kevin Durant signed with the Nets. Golden State sent a protected future first-round pick to Brooklyn as part of the deal.
The Warriors new 1-2 scoring punch has struggled to get off the ground this preseason. Golden State went 2-3 during their exhibition schedule, losing three times to the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell averaged 18.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in three preseason appearances. Despite the sluggish start, Curry has high hopes for the regular season.
“I like optimistic because I know it didn’t look great, but I can feel us getting better more than I could in years past,” Curry said on the latest episode of the “TK Show.” “In years past with the talent we had and the experience and some things just went unsaid … we don’t have that quote-unquote luxury, so every marginal gain that we have, you can tell.”
Can Curry and Russell Be The New Splash Brothers?
If you ask Steph, the answer is yes. The Warriors struggled during the preseason to find chemistry with a new-look lineup, but the talent is certainly there for Russell, who had a breakout campaign last season with the Nets. Curry also believes the talent is there for D’Angelo and is fine with sharing the load this season.
“I don’t mind it at all,” Curry said on the latest episode of the “TK Show.” “I know for the defense, that’s where he’s at his best. You never ask a guy like that to change the way he plays, the way he sees the game.”
The 23-year-old Russell is coming off the best season in the league, averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game in an all-star campaign for the Nets. With Durant now in Brooklyn, Golden State needed to fill the void with a big-time scorer, which they believe they now have in Russell.
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