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"When We're Healthy, No One Wants To See Us" - Klay Thompson On The Warriors' Playoff Push After Their Rally To DESTROY The Blazers

Klay Thompson is talking that talk, and considering he's part of a core who's won four NBA championships, can hardly blame him for the supreme self-belief. Never mind that he missed two entire seasons before coming back and ho-hum contributing to yet another NBA Finals-winning squad.

But yeah...the Golden State Warriors. Defending NBA champs. We've been waiting for them to flip the switch. As baffling as their 23-point deficit late in the second quarter of Tuesday's matchup with the Trail Blazers was, once the Dubs got rolling, Portland had zero answers.

This was a classic letdown spot for Portland to be fair. Tuesday's visitors were just coming off Damian Lillard's absurd 71-point performance against Houston.

To their credit, the Blazers came out absolutely FIRING at Chase Center. That momentum didn't keep up, though, as the Warriors ran away with this one and allowed only 40 second-half points.

I jinxed the shit out of the Lakers and LeBron the other night by gassing them up and implying they could go deep in the West. Forgive me Purple and Gold folk, for all I was attempting to do was defend The King. I wrongly assumed LeBron's superhuman durability would mean his foot injury was no big deal. Was wrong about that.

When it comes to Golden State, though, Steph Curry is out of the lineup and has been for the past nine games. Before then, he missed about a month from December 14 through January 10. The Warriors are approaching three weeks without playoff X-factor Andrew Wiggins to lean on. Key reserve Gary Payton II is hopefully making his 2023 Dubs debut in the next week or two. Draymond Green even missed two contests before Tuesday's roaring comeback.

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The fact that the Warriors showed this type of firepower against an opponent in Portland fighting for its play-in tournament life serves as a reminder that there is serious talent waiting in the wings once the Steph-Klay-Dray band breaks up, or at least one of them leaves. How about Jonathan Kuminga coming off the bench for 16 points and highlighting the Dubs' 39-17 third-quarter surge with this thunderous throwdown!?

Damn if this young man ever puts it all together — aka develops a consistent outside jumper — look the fuck out. The athleticism is off the charts, as is Kuminga's defensive versatility and upside. He just turned twenty in October. Sheesh.

Then you had Jordan Poole matching Klay's 12 points in that decisive third quarter. I'm sure Poole and Draymond have buried the hatchet regarding that practice fight by now. The former led six Warriors in double figures with 29 points and it still feels like there's another level to Poole's game he's yet to unlock.

One of the best things about all this Golden State jelling action is that Klay looks closer to the force of nature he was pre-major injuries. ICYMI, he canned 12 3-pointers in last Friday's win over the Rockets.

In that aforementioned LeBron/Lakers blog, I mentioned how all the teams in the West stack up, how jam-packed the standings are, and how unproven the clear-cut top three teams in Denver, Memphis and Sacramento are. In such a wide-open fight to represent the conference in the NBA Finals, the Warriors' championship experience is such a psychological advantage that can boost their morale no matter what kind of adversity they're facing.

Pretty sure Steve Kerr would say the Dubs have been hit with more adversity than they could've fathomed bargaining for before the season. Thing is, I think all that crap may lead to an oh-so-sweet payoff of Golden State, at the very least, surging back to the Conference Finals. Once they're healthy, they're going to be one hell of a tough out when the games really count.

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Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok