Before the Golden State Warriors took the court for Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night, Klay Thompson spent time reflecting on his long road back from injury. For the day marked the three-year anniversary of when he tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. A crushing blow that marked the beginning of his grueling 941-day period away from the game.
Thompson's injury anniversary also marked the end of the Warriors' hopes of capturing three straight titles, as they lost Game 6 and that series to Toronto. But the veteran 'Splash Brother' is one win away from celebrating yet another championship, as he racked up 21 points with a team-high five three-pointers in Golden State's 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday at Chase Center. A fitting chapter to Thompson's ongoing comeback story.
"When they were down 2-1, I remember us being in Boston. And he said it the night before, 'I'm smelling 2015 vibes.' Obviously, that was in reflection to their first title season," ESPN Radio voice Marc Kestecher told After Hours with Amy Lawrence on Tuesday. "He just seems like a completely different, open-book person. He's very reflective on his career. There must've been times when he was rehabbing and wondered if he was ever going to play like he used to.
"And if he was, was he going to be on a team like he used to be on, that was competing for championships every year. So, I think that he smells the roses every day. And the clip, it's the first thing I thought of when I was going down the elevator at Chase Center today. And if the Warriors win the championship, I think they're going to play the clip a few times. It's starting to smell like 2015 vibes. That's where we're headed right now."
Golden State, which clinched the West's third seed with a 53-29 record, will play Game 6 against Boston on Thursday at TD Garden, with tip-off slated for 9:00 ET. According to FiveThirtyEight projections, the Warriors currently have a 62-percent chance to capture their fourth title since 2015. And if the Celtics hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy, it'll be their NBA-record 18th in team history.
The entire NBA Finals conversation between Kestecher and Lawrence can be accessed in the audio player above.
You can follow After Hours With Amy Lawrence on Twitter @ALawRadio and @AfterHoursCBS, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.