With the loss of Kevin Durant, the Warriors lost a powerful weapon and essential piece of their core. In his three-year tenure with the team, KD led them to 2 NBA Championships, winning Finals MVP both times. With him gone, it will be tough to make up for his production — especially on the offensive end.
Without Klay, however, some folks from the Warriors are inclined to say it would hurt them even more than the loss of Durant.
One such opinion seems to be held by Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr, who insisted that Thompson’s presence on their squad is more important than Durant’s.
“Klay being out is really the big change,” Kerr said, as quoted by SFGate. “Losing Kevin, Andre (Iguodala), Shaun (Livingston), obviously, those are huge losses. Losing Klay on top of all that really changes the way we’re going to have to play at both ends. Klay was always an integral part of everything. Movement on offense, but also the guarding of the ball handler on defense, switching onto bigs. So until he gets back, we’ve got to re-imagine everything and adapt accordingly.”
Klay tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. With an expected recovery time of five-to-seven months, he likely won’t return until late winter. The Warriors will miss him.
Last season, Klay averaged 21.5 points on 46% shooting with 241 total 3-pointer made. On the defensive end, he was making a name for himself as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.
It’s hard to compare that to Durant, but what Kerr is alluding to in his comment might include more than numbers and stats. Klay instills an identity for Golden State. His playstyle and unselfish attitude set a tone for the rest of the team.
It will be difficult for them to adjust to life without him this upcoming season.