The Golden State Warriors were one game shy from completing a three-peat in the 2019 NBA Finals. After losing Kevin Durant to injury, the team received more bad news, as Klay Thompson was sidelined with a torn ACL. During Game 6, the Warriors were up 83-80 against the Toronto Raptors when Thompson was forced to leave with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Despite being down by three, the Raptors went on to win the game as the Warriors were clearly missing Thompson on the court. This left many to ponder whether the Warriors would have held on to their lead throughout the fourth quarter if at least one of their All-Stars had been healthy. Thompson certainly believes this is the case.
“In my mind, yes we would’ve won if I didn’t get hurt,” Thompson revealed during an interview with The Athletic‘s Marcus Thompson II.
The five-time NBA All-Star exited the Oracle Arena following an impressive showing of 30 points on 8 of 12 shooting. He had been remarkable for the Warriors throughout the postseason and elevated his play to a new level during the NBA Finals, despite also missing Game 3.
“That’s just the nature of sports, you know? What-ifs? It doesn’t matter. It’s if you do your deed or not. In my mind, I think we would’ve. But you never know. That’s the hard part you’ve got to accept. I look at all the guys who had bad luck getting injured against us the last few years, and I’ve honestly become so much more sympathetic. Yeah. That’s just the nature of the beast,” he added, speaking of his injury.
With these remarks, it’s evident that Thompson is well-aware of the chatter regarding the Warriors’ path to the NBA Finals in recent years. Much like the Raptors did this season, the Warriors had previously taken advantage of facing teams without some of their star players, including Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. Injuries are a part of the game, and the Warriors used the opportunities they provided to pave their way to three championships.
As of now, Thompson’s return date is unknown as he continues to rehab he knee, but his father Mychal Thompson stated that his son may be back late into the 2019-20 NBA season, as reported by The Inquisitr. There is a possibility that Thompson could feature for the Warriors, although it wouldn’t be surprising if he sat out the entire year. With his goal of returning to All-Star level, Thompson will likely wait until he is back to full health before stepping on the court again.