Klay Thompson might still be working on getting his NBA legs under him after two-and-a-half years away from the court, but when the Warriors star is on the floor, he looks like he never left.
Thompson has shown great quickness and explosiveness in his two games back, and the shot, always one of the smoothest in the business, never left him.
It has only been two games, but so far, Steph Curry has loved what he has seen from his recently-returned Splash Brother.
"You see No. 11 out there, and you are going to be aggressive and try to take him off the line because of his jump shot, and he's using that to his advantage," Curry told reporters Tuesday after the Warriors' 116-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. "It's nice that he has the confidence in his body to be able to be explosive, get to the rim and either finish or dunk or just put pressure on the defense. I like the way that he is attacking and trying to pick and choose his spots. It's good to see."
After scoring 17 points in his return Sunday vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thompson scored 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting against the Grizzlies. While he was a team-best plus-17 on the night, Thompson expects better of himself going forward.
"I expect greatness every time I step on the court," Thompson said. "I'm not satisfied with 5-for-13. I should have had at least eight makes tonight, but that's basketball. Just happy I can say that, and I look forward to getting better every week. I've had years where I don't start out as well as I want, but I'll have stretches where I'm on fire. So I trust myself to keep putting in the work, and that will happen."
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Turnovers doomed the Warriors on Tuesday night in Memphis, and Golden State now finds itself in a mini-slump, having lost three of its past four.
The Warriors still are 30-10 and just got Thompson back, so the panic meter is low. That being said, coach Steve Kerr is aware that the next month will be critical for the Warriors to find out who they are going to be come playoff time.
“In a strange way, these next three-four weeks are going to be about re-establishing our identity as a team,” Kerr said. “We did a great job these first 40 games of becoming a great defensive team. A lot of guys have played important minutes and have established roles. Now that’s going to be shaken up a little bit because Klay is going to play a huge role.”
The Warriors have some work to do in order to be ready for the playoffs. But Thompson has looked good in his first two games back. He'll continue to knock the rust off, and the Warriors continue to improve as they work to re-integrate the five-time All-Star.