Few players have gone through the pain and suffering that Klay Thompson had to go through, from 2019 to 2021. The All-Star guard tore his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and just when it seemed like he was on his way back, he ruptured his Achilles before the 2020-21 NBA season.
It was a long road of recovery for Thompson, who missed over two years of NBA action and the Golden State Warriors struggled in his absence, as they missed the playoffs in both the years without him. Their fortunes did take a turn for the better this season, so Klay was able to take his time to come back and his much-awaited return came on 9th January 2022 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It was always going to be a bit rough getting back on the court after missing so much time and Thompson endured his fair share of struggles with some even calling for him to be replaced in favor of Jordan Poole. The Warriors persisted with him and Klay has rewarded their patience with some much-improved displays in these playoffs. He scored 32 points against the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 in Round 1 and, more importantly, poured in 30 points in the close-out Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Conference Semifinals.
He has been solid if unspectacular in the Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks but that has been enough, as the Warriors have taken a 3-0 lead, regardless. That actually puts him on the cusp of a 6th consecutive Finals berth as he did miss the whole of the 2019-20 as well as 2020-21 campaigns. He can become only the eleventh player to do so, joining a list that includes Bill Russell (10), Sam Jones (9), Tom Heinsohn (9), Frank Ramsey (8), LeBron James (8), James Jones (7), KC Jones (7), Bob Cousy (7), Tom Sanders (6), and Andre Iguodala (6). It is quite the company to be a part of and after what he has been through the last couple of years, this potential Finals appearance would feel a whole lot better than even some of the more memorable ones in the past.