Before Klay Thompson tore his right Achilles on Nov. 18, the Warriors were planning for a deep NBA playoff run.
Golden State fully expected to still be playing in late June and early July with a healthy Thompson, who was nearing a full recovery from a torn left ACL.
Everything changed when Thompson suffered the season-ending injury in a Southern California gym in November.
The Warriors struggled at points during the 2020-21 regular season without their All-Star shooting guard and lost both play-in tournament games, missing the postseason for the second straight year.
If Thompson hadn't torn his Achilles and played the entire 2020-21 NBA season, would the Warriors be headed to The Finals instead of the Phoenix Suns? We'll never know, but the three-time NBA champ is convinced that would be the case.
"Man, are you guys watching the playoffs?" Thompson said during an Instagram Live session on Friday. "It's hard for me to watch, to be honest, fellas. It's hard for me to watch because I know if we was there, it would be a different story. But you gotta channel that energy into your workouts. That's called life."
The Warriors aren't expecting Thompson to return until sometime in December, but once he does rejoin Steph Curry, Draymond Green and the rest of the team, the goal once again is to win the NBA title.
It will take Thompson time to regain his pre-injury form, but once he does, the Warriors could be a force to reckon with in the Western Conference, depending on how they tweak the roster over the next few months.