Following a two-game absence due to a hyperextended left knee, Warriors swingman Klay Thompson returned to action on Tuesday night vs. Dallas and played a season-high 26 minutes.
After the game, head coach Steve Kerr said that Thompson’s minutes limit has been increased slightly (the goal is to keep him around 25) and that the team has restructured its rotation to avoid having him sit out for extended stretches, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. On Tuesday, Thompson played for the first six minutes of the first and second quarters, then had three shorter stints in the second half to ensure he could be part of the closing lineup.
“We’re just trying to avoid having him not play for 45 minutes (straight) of actual time,” Kerr said, per Slater.
Thompson, who put up 15 points and six assists and was a plus-26 in the Warriors’ blowout victory, said he prefers this pattern: “Especially at my age and what I’ve been through. It felt good to start the second (quarter). I was loose and I was active. Hopefully we can learn from it.”
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- After previously penciling in Jonathan Kuminga as a starter during Draymond Green‘s absence, Kerr has moved the rookie forward back to the bench for Golden State’s last three games. As Slater relays, Kerr explained his reasoning on Tuesday: “Without Draymond right now and with a minutes restriction on Klay, Andre (Iguodala) and Otto (Porter Jr.) are not playing back-to-backs, it’s been a little bit of play-it-by-ear-type stuff,” Kerr said. “It feels like we need to try and find some continuity when we can. … As long as Draymond is out, I think anything is on the table based on matchups. I think JK has played really well, so it’s not an indictment on him. It’s more just trying to find combinations that make sense for the game. We are just trying to find ways to win basically while we have guys out.”
- Speaking of Green, Kerr said the Warriors will provide an update on the former Defensive Player of the Year on Sunday, per Mark Medina of NBA.com (Twitter link). Green is dealing with back and calf ailments.
- In an in-depth profile, James Herbert of CBS Sports takes a look at the path Gary Payton II took to the Warriors and how he has found a home in Golden State.