Since Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson sustained a concussion in the Western Conference Finals, basketball fans have closely followed his status for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
ESPN’s Marc Stein made it official:
Yahoo’s Marc Spears had previously reported that Thompson expected to play in the series opener, so Stein’s update comes as no surprise. However, professional leagues are taking concussions much more seriously, and the NBA requires players to pass a baseline test taken in the preseason.
While saying Thompson is a key to Golden State’s championship aspirations is obvious, it doesn’t diminish the statement’s truth.
The 6’7″ sharpshooter struggled to find a rhythm throughout the Western Conference Finals, but he was tasked with guarding an elite scoring guard in James Harden. Though Thompson managed 17.8 points per outing and buried a mediocre 34.1 percent of his three-point attempts, he exerted so much energy on the defensive end that offensive issues shouldn’t have been a surprise.
Cleveland will probably rely on a mix of Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to contain Thompson, a terrific off-ball mover and lights-out shooter. Long story short, that should be an appealing thought for the Warriors guard.
Golden State’s run for the franchise’s first league championship in 40 years begins on Thursday, June 4. ABC will televise Game 1 of the 2015 Finals, which takes place at Oracle Arena and tips off at 9 p.m. ET.
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