Steph Curry injury sparked Klay Thompson silver lining, Bill Simmons asserts

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Simmons: Steph injury forced Klay, JP out of 'security blanket' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson arguably are under the most scrutiny by NBA pundits and fans alike, and that’s before Warriors superstar Steph Curry suffered a shoulder injury.

The Warriors' dramatic 122-119 loss to the Detroit Pistons on a buzzer-beater Wednesday was proof of that, especially for Poole, who caught Dub Nation’s ire again for another late turnover. Both coach Steve Kerr and Thompson staunchly defended him, and he finished with 24 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

Likewise, Thompson’s inconsistent play to start the season had NBA talking heads like Charles Barkley saying he’s not the same player anymore. Thompson silenced critics with a monster 54-point performance in Golden State's exhilarating double-overtime 143-141 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

The Ringer's Bill Simmons likes what he’s seeing from Thompson during his Splash Brother’s absence, as Curry exclusively told NBC Sports Bay Area that he’s about to return from his shoulder injury.

“I thought Klay really found his footing the last 15, 20 games,” Simmons noted on the latest “Bill Simmons Podcast.” “And not having that Steph security blanket, I think sometimes that’s a good thing. Klay has looked really good.”

Poole has been more of a mixed bag, but Simmons believes the high usage will be valuable for the burgeoning Splash Cousin.

“I think in the last three games, he’s had at least one massive screw-up in the last minute of each game,” reflected Simmons. “But on the other hand, he’s had the ball a lot for better and worse. And when he goes back, he gets demoted to being like the sixth man and plays 25 minutes a game. I actually think all the experience he got was good.”

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Curry similarly told NBC Sports Bay Area that Poole’s “next step is being that consistent every-night type of guy with heavy minutes and heavy expectations and dealing with the best defenders.”

Now with Curry’s imminent return, the Warriors will look to solidify their rotation. Simmons still believes the Warriors and Denver Nuggets are the teams to beat in the Western Conference.

If the Splash trio can find their form, another deep playoff run for the Warriors’ title defense is almost a certainty.

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