Last night, Toronto Raptors managed to win for the second consecutive time in Oracle Arena and they are now leading 3-1 in the Finals. Therefore, they only need one more win to become NBA champions. We can discuss about the injuries of the Warriors, about missing Kevin Durant, and about other objective reasons for this result but it doesn’t matter.
However, I want to talk about a big mistake that the reigning champions made and that might cost them the title. As you probably know, Golden State Warriors won the second game in Toronto, but Klay Thompson got injured so the coaches had to take an important decision. They could leave him out for Game 3 or put him into the game and risk a bigger injury. This is a complicated matter, first of all, because the Warriors were already without Kevin Durant. However, they decided to rule Klay Thompson out and assure that he will recover completely.
In my opinion, this was an uninspired move. My first argument is that Klay wanted and urged the coaches to let him play. This doesn’t mean that he should be allowed to play but it shows that he was ready to risk his body for the team. He would have taken full responsibility. Ok, I know that there was a big chance that Klay would’ve injured in Game 3 if he had played but this could have also happened in Game 4.
Maybe you will ask: Ok if Klay Thompson got injured in Game 3 and then missed game 4 it would be the same situation. In a way, yes, it would be. But let’s look at what happened in Game 3. Steph Curry had a tremendous effort scoring 47 points, but this still wasn’t enough. Instead, this performance has left Curry without any energy for Game 4, so when Klay came back it was like he was playing alone, at least in the first three quarters. Instead, if Klay had played in Game 3, maybe they would have managed to win it. Then even if they had lost Game 4 it would have still been 2-2. Instead, now the Warriors are down 1-3 and they are on the verge of losing the first title in three years.
The main point is that you can’t leave Klay Thompson out of a Finals Game, especially if he wants to play and is fine with taking full responsibility. However, I believe that the truth is a little bit different. Maybe the Warriors thought that they will easily win without Klay Thompson, so they decided not to risk anything. There is a possibility that his injury was much worse. But then how did he manage to play two days later?