OAKLAND – As the media populated the Oracle Arena floor after Tuesday's practice, a crowd began to form around the shooting training of the Klay Thompson Warrior guards.
While Thompson, who injured his right hamstring in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, practiced a variety of midrange shots, the intrigue continued to increase over whether he would play in Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Thompson's injury is only the last of the Warriors. Since the postseason began, Golden State suffered injuries to two stars, a super sub and, most recently, Kevon Looney for the season. With the NBA Finals tied in a game each and Game 3 approaching, the champions will have to rely on depth as their increasingly crippled list plays through the Finals.
"It's just that everyone is ready," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said Tuesday afternoon. "In the way we play, everyone feels involved in both ends of the floor and has the opportunity to impact the game, not necessarily scoring each possession but simply playing inside the flow and sharing the ball, moving, playing selflessly."
Throughout his career, Thompson has proven to be a reliable bet to be on the court in the postseason. In 120 career playoff games, he never missed a start. Last season, after suffering a sprained ankle after a serious collision with Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith, he lost no time. His last injury, which occurred in the third quarter of Game 2, could be a more difficult recovery. On Tuesday, he said he intended to play on Wednesday night, but would leave the final decision to the Warriors' training staff.
Seven minutes before Thompson left the game on Sunday night, the Warriors lost striker Kevon Looney during the season with a first fracture of undisplaced coastal cartilage, just as DeMarcus Cousins returned from a torn quadriceps. Add the injured calf of Kevin Durant and the injured leg of Andre Iguodala and you can see a team with little desire for championships. Still, the team seemed confident on Tuesday.
"Our team is very adaptable," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "We have a lot of versatility, what it requires is that the bench players are ready to take a step forward, as they always are, and that the boys play hard and play together, I think you must also be fearless, our team is. "You can not worry about anything. You just go out and play and compete, you let it fly and whatever happens happens. "
After Thompson's injury on Sunday night, the Warriors stayed in the 109-104 victory. Quinn Cook scored nine points in the second half, including three triples while the bank scored 25 points on the night.
The approach of Sunday has been a necessity in the last three months. In the second game of the postseason, Cousins ripped his right quadrilateral chasing a loose ball. Two weeks later, Durant struggled out of the Oracle Arena floor after straining his right calf. Meanwhile, the Warriors enter Wednesday's game with a postseason record of 13-5 and the chance to take a 2-1 lead over the Raptors if they follow a familiar mantra.
"Just to be ready," said Warriors guard Shaun Livingston. "There will be an opportunity with the guys that are going down, that's the way it's shaken, and that's what happens in professional sports, period, so only the boys are ready, playing with a lot of confidence, knowing that we're going to Get that opportunity and get in and make plays.