Warriors stumble to Clippers despite the return of Klay's hot hand
Another night, another L, but are there some silver linings? Sure!
I’ve got some good news for Golden State Warriors fans who were sick of the team blowing leads while Klay Thompson struggled to live up to his sterling expectations and Coach Steve Kerr was reluctant to tinker with rotations.
Last night the Warriors actually came back from down double-digits, while Klay looked a lot the Klay we’re accustomed to, and Coach Kerr gave us some new lineups to behold! Sure, it still ended in a 121-113 loss (the Dubs’ third in a row) to the Los Angeles Clippers, but there was some good things to take away from this defeat. Let’s play the moral victory violin!
Klay Thompson ain’t done yet
When the Warriors fell down 72-56 with 11:44 to go in the third quarter, the night looked surely doomed from the absence of defensive anchor Draymond Green, who is apparently suspended beyond the constraints of time.
But the Dubs fought back thanks to a barrage of three-pointers from Klay, who hit four triples and scored 16 points in the quarter. A scoring explosion like this is exactly what has been part of Klay’s phenomenal NBA career; a hooper with a flourescent green light who can incinerate any defense at any time. That’s also been largely missing this season, which involved Coach Kerr benching him in crunch time recently.
Last night Thompson led all scorers with 30 points and nailed eight three-pointers. Despite the loss it was encouraging to see his name atop the box score in a game that featured legends like Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden.
Steve Kerr is making changes
Welllll we wanted to see Coach Kerr figure out some different combinations of players to gel together and snap this malaise. Green’s league punishment created a natural void for change, and Kerr didn’t dissapoint.
As the co-Mayor of Wiggins Island with Dr. Tom, it was jarring to watch Andrew Wiggins relegated to being a reserve. 9 points, 5 fouls, and a plus/minus of -7 in 22 minutes off the bench is a far cry from the destroyer of worlds we witnessed in the 2022 NBA Finals when he dominated against Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
But the shakeup allowed for Jonathan Kuminga to get 25 minutes as a starter, where he tallied 15 points and 5 rebounds (also the only starter with a positive plus/minus). On a night where star player Stephen Curry couldn’t find his shot (5-of-17 from the field for 17 points), it was good to see JK and Klay rally together to make some positive basketball happen.
Okay so now the team can settle into a new rotation in a Draymond Green-less world and try to figure out who they are. They’ll obviously look a lot better if Curry plays up to his usual standards; at some point the team will have to find a way to rebuild connectivity tissue.