This was supposed to be the Warriors Revenge Tour. This was supposed to be their year to prove they could win another championship without Kevin Durant, armed with their original Big Three of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, plus a top draft pick. And then, Thompson sustained a season-ending leg injury for the second straight season.
The Warriors are coming out of the All-Star break as the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference with a 19-18 record. They still have playoff aspirations and more, but everyone knows this is a whole different team with Thompson on the court. When he does return next season, Green is "very confident" the Warriors can win another ring.
"It still hasn't truly been proven that us three can be beat in a seven-game series where we all play and we're not 22 and 23 and 24 years old," Green said Wednesday morning on ESPN's "First Take." "That hasn't been proven yet. So, I'm looking forward to that."
The Warriors blew a three-games-to-one series lead in the 2016 NBA Finals when Green was suspended for Game 5 for making "unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin" when LeBron James stepped over him in Game 4. Golden State also lost the 2019 NBA Finals when Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6 after scoring 30 points in just under 32 minutes.
When Curry, Thompson and Green are on the court together, it's almost impossible to beat them. Bet against them -- they dare you to.
In fact, the last time the Warriors lost a playoff series with a healthy trio of Curry, Thompson and Green was the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs when they fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games. Curry was 26 while Thompson and Green were 24. Draymond was in just his second NBA season, and wasn't even a full-time starter yet.
Since then, the Warriors have been a wrecking crew, crushing other NBA teams when healthy.
It's clear the Warriors have missed Thompson's shooting ability this season, as Curry has had to dominate solo without the second half of the Splash Brothers. But Green misses Thompson for much more than his offense.
"Obviously we miss Klay," Green said. "Everybody misses his shooting, but what he brings to the court as far as his tenacity, just the attitude that he brings -- one of the toughest guys that I've ever played with. ... One of the toughest guys I've ever been around, and I'm looking forward to having him back out there on the court next to us."
Green's message is loud and clear: Good luck to the rest of the NBA when the Warriors finally are fully healthy again.