It’s not just that Thompson cemented a reputation as one of the NBA’s top perimeter defenders. It is the fact that he is constantly available to apply this defense. Prior to missing this and final season with serious injuries to Achilles and the ACL, Thompson had established himself as one of the league’s ironmen, missing just 25 games in the previous seven seasons combined.
There has been a gaping Thompson-sized hole in the Warriors roster over the past two seasons, but since entering a trade in February of last year, Andrew Wiggins has done an admirable job of filling it. .
Although they don’t play the same position, they performed in a similar fashion. Wiggins missed just one game last season after joining Golden State, and he’s played all 69 games this season. On top of that, Wiggins has racked up 18.3 points per game, shoots 37.8% from 3 points and takes on Thompson’s nightly defensive responsibilities.
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Ahead of the Warriors’ game against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, coach Steve Kerr expressed his excitement about having the two players together on the field next season.
“It’s so precious to have someone you know you can count on every night to play great minutes and to keep one of the best players on the opposing team,” Kerr told reporters via video conference. “Klay has been that guy for many years, and now Andrew is the same. So what I like to think about is next year, having the two guys in that role, two guys you can count on to be there night and night, because I think that’s what is going to be the case with Klay. So, you start to think about it, it gets pretty exciting. But we must first take care of this year. “
Thompson is staying on pace with his rehab, and while the Warriors certainly aren’t rushing him, it’s easy to see why they’re eagerly awaiting his return. Wiggins is also looking forward to playing alongside the missing half of the Splash Brothers, and when that long-awaited day finally arrives, the excitement will be deserved.
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