Klay Thompson has recently stated that he believes the Golden State Warriors would have won the 2019 NBA Finals had he not been injured.
The 2019 NBA Finals will go down as one of the most interesting series of all time. The stakes were high for both teams as the impending free agency decisions of both Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant loomed over each franchise. Though the Raptors emerged victorious, Klay Thompson believes things could have gone differently.
Golden State was at a disadvantage from the start of the series. Entering the 2019 NBA Finals, the Dubs were without Durant due to an injury he suffered earlier in the postseason. Despite the lack of their superstar, the Warriors quickly dropped off the Portland Trail Blazers in the Conference Finals and felt confident in their chances against the Raptors.
As the series went on, it became more and more clear that the injury bug was hitting the Warriors hard. A chest contusion to Kevon Looney nearly took the blossoming big man out of the series while a hamstring injury removed Thompson from Game 3. Stephen Curry exploded for a playoff career-high 47 points in this game but the Warriors ultimately fell short with a lack of talent.
This would be the case for the rest of the series. Durant made a triumphant return in Game 5, only to fall with a vicious torn Achilles that will hold the two-time Finals MVP on the sideline for nearly a year.
Even so, the Warriors were on their way back home to play in a pivotal Game 6. A victory here would give the Dubs a ton of momentum heading into a potential Game 7. Thompson came out swinging, scoring 30 points in just 31 minutes of playing time. Through three quarters, the Dubs were in position to win the game.
Then, as we all know, Thompson suffered a horrible ACL injury. Still, Thompson willed himself on to the court to sink both free throws and nearly attempted to continue playing before being brought off of the court for further evaluation.
The Golden State Warriors wound up losing the game by four points.
As many Warriors fans already believe, Thompson has stated that he thinks the Dubs win that series if he is healthy. It seems almost certain that the Warriors would have won Game 6 with a healthy Klay, but winning a Game 7 on the road would prove to be much more difficult.
Regardless, there is nothing but respect to be had for the Raptors. They played the hands they were dealt and emerged as NBA champions.