After mulling over the Warriors' 104-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night at Chase Center, coach Steve Kerr at least was able to reveal some positive news.
Kerr provided an encouraging update on star Klay Thompson, who currently is rehabbing from a torn right Achilles tendon.
"I talked to Klay before the game," Kerr told reporters in a video conference. "It was great to see him. He's in really good spirits. He’s happy to be up here with his teammates. In his words, the worst is behind him."
Thompson will miss the entirety of the season while recovering, marking the second straight year Golden State will be without the five-time All-Star. However, both sides have been adamant about wanting Thompson to be around the team for obvious morale reasons. Tuesday served as the first time he was able to do so, sitting behind the Warriors' bench for the game.
Kerr has long advocated for Thompson to spend time with the team, believing it beneficial in multiple ways. Although he can't participate, the experience a relatively young team can gain from being around a player like Thompson can pay dividends down the road. On the other hand, Thompson being with the team also allows him to stay involved while getting to know his teammates, and can help alleviate the load that comes with being apart from the organization, especially for the second consecutive year.
That certainly rang true for Kevon Looney, noting the difference Thompson's presence alone makes in the locker room.
"It was great to see Klay again," Looney said to reporters after the game. "He brings a different type of energy, a different type of joy to the locker room. It's great to have him out there to be a part of everything, just to see him."
"He seems to be in great spirits and looking good," Looney added. "It was just great to have him around. He's been one of the leaders and vocal people in our locker room. To have him back has been great."
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Kerr added Thompson will soon begin the next phase of his rehab process, and all things considered, he seems to be optimistic.
"He’s got the boot on, he’s going to be able to get into the pool next week and start running in the pool," Kerr said. "He was very upbeat about everything. It was great to see him."
Even with Thompson providing moral support, the Warriors couldn't quite pull out a win against an aggressive Pacers team that had no problem capitalizing on Golden State's sloppy second-half turnovers. Andrew Wiggins led a valiant effort with 22 points and a career-high five blocks. Steph Curry followed with 20 points and Kelly Oubre with 17, 15 coming in the first half.
Despite some encouraging play as of late, it's clear the Warriors still have plenty to work on. They're hoping that having Thompson around will help.