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Klay Thompson injury update: Steve Kerr says Warriors star guard played five-on-five this week as return nears

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The Golden State Warriors already have the NBA‘s best record, and reinforcements are on the way. According to coach Steve Kerr, Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who missed the past two seasons in their entirety due to ACL and Achilles injuries, participated in five-on-five action in practice for the first time this week. This doesn’t mean that a return to game action is imminent for the former All-Star, but it’s a positive sign of progress nonetheless. 

“He played five-on-five [Monday] and then I think he’s going to play 5-on-5 [Wednesday],” Kerr said after Golden State’s 117-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. “… I got good reports and he’s got to keep going. A two-year absence requires a lot of work. Not just a rehab, but the endurance, the strength, so it’s great that he’s playing 5-on-5 but it doesn’t mean he’s going to be ready to step on an NBA floor next week or something, but he’s progressing really well.”

Needless to say, Thompson’s teammates are extremely excited about his pending return after two years away from the game. 

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“It’s huge,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said of Thompson’s return. “From a mental standpoint alone, just huge. So I think it also helps with the way other teams view you as well. So we’re looking forward to getting him back. We know what he brings to the table. We’re not expecting him to be Klay Thompson of 2018 right away, but he’s worked his ass off. He’s worked his ass off for this moment, and I’m looking forward to getting him back out there.”

In addition to Thompson, Kerr also provided an update on second-year big man James Wiseman, who has been sidelined since April with a knee injury. 

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“James [Wiseman] did not play. He hasn’t been cleared yet for 5-on-5, Kerr said. “The injury that he suffered, everything is clear — there’s no structural issues or anything. It’s an injury that requires a lot of give and take and daily maintenance and kind of checking in on how he’s doing. You remember last year, Jaren Jackson had the same injury. It’s a long process, but he’s doing really well, his attitude is great and we obviously can’t wait until he’s back and able to play. We just got to be patient.”  

A month into the season, the Warriors have already established themselves as one of the league’s best teams on both ends of the floor. The return of Thompson and Wiseman should only work to make them deeper and more dangerous. 





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James Wiseman Gave Warriors A Preview Of How He Can Help Them

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(Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

 

On Friday, the NBA’s first preseason game of the new season took place between the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards in Tokyo.

The game itself was rather ugly, as one may expect a preseason game to be – both teams shot under 37 percent, with the Warriors winning 96-87.

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Klay Thompson didn’t play, while Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins went a combined 2-of-18 from the field.

However, the notable aspect of the contest was the play of center James Wiseman, who played in his first NBA game since suffering a knee injury late in the 2020-21 season.

Coming off the bench, he played 24 minutes and put up 20 points and nine rebounds.

It was a glimpse of how he can help the Warriors be even more unstoppable this season.

 

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Wiseman Is The Big Man The Warriors Have Always Needed

During the Curry era, the Warriors have won four world championships, but they have always been mediocre or even weak in the middle.

Their starting centers over the last eight years have been unremarkable men such as Andrew Bogut, Zaza Pachulia and Kevon Looney, all of whom did little more than grab a few rebounds, set some picks and play some defense.

Wiseman can do all that and then some.

He is a strong scorer inside the paint, as he is capable of throwing down strong dunks in the face of a defender.

His nine rebounds is proof he can help Golden State limit teams to one shot, which is one of the big keys to their deadly transition game.

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Speaking of its transition game, Wiseman can get out on the fast break and finish.

On Saturday, the Warriors and Wizards faced off again, and Wiseman didn’t play well, going just 2-of-7 from the floor for eight points and three rebounds and 18 minutes.

But he did flash another aspect of his game by hitting a 3-pointer.

As a rookie during the 2020-21 season, Wiseman didn’t shoot well from downtown, hitting just 31.6 percent from that distance, but it’s a part of his game he could improve on.

The Warriors have never really had an inside threat offensively over the past several years, as they’ve been primarily a perimeter-oriented team that relies on lots of screens and ball movement to create good looks in their set offense.

But with Wiseman posting up on occasion and being a threat to catch the ball and finish in the paint, it could get Curry and Thompson easier looks from 3-point land.

 

Wiseman Can Help Extend Golden State’s Championship Window

Curry is 34 while Thompson and Draymond Green are both 32, and while none of them are old, head coach Steve Kerr needs to start thinking about conserving them a bit during the regular season.

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The best way to do so is to rely more on younger players, especially offensively.

Wiseman is not going to score a lot of points, at least during this phase of his career, but by having the occasional 20-point game, as he did on Friday, he can allow Curry, Thompson and Green to coast a little more, which would allow them to stay fresh for the playoffs and perhaps even add an extra year to their respective primes.

The post James Wiseman Gave Warriors A Preview Of How He Can Help Them appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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MLB Team of the Season: Ohtani, Judge, Alvarez, Betts lead list

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Ben Verlander wraps up the 2022 MLB season with his Team of the Season, choosing the best of the best at each position the entire year.



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NFL Week 4: Follow live as Rams battle 49ers on MNF

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Week 4 of the NFL season comes to a close with the Rams battling the 49ers on Monday Night Football. Here are the top plays!



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