Klay and Wiggins' improving chemistry gives Warriors dynamic trio


Klay Thompson's return was always going to have an adjustment period. The Warriors were prepared for it and expected it to take Andrew Wiggins some time to get acclimated to his new teammate and new role.

While Wiggins was quiet for the first two games of Thompson's return, the 26-year-old was more aggressive in games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls, and he and Thompson showed improved chemistry during the Warriors' 102-86 win over the Detroit Pistons at Chase Center.

Thompson had two assists to Wiggins in the first three minutes of the game as the two wings looked like they had been playing off of each other for years instead of four games.

The Wiggins-Thompson chemistry is vital to the Warriors' title hopes. Thompson is a five-time All-Star and one of the greatest shooters in history, while Wiggins has played at an All-Star level this season for Golden State. The Warriors will need both in lockstep alongside Steph Curry to march through the Western Conference and back to the NBA Finals.

The chemistry experiment still is in the early stages, but Tuesday night's game was proof it's coming together faster than expected.

"I'm really enjoying playing with Andrew," Thompson said Tuesday after scoring 21 points in the win. "Andrew is so talented, and the stuff he does on the basketball court, you can't really teach. Like that behind-the-back move he had. One-foot takeoff off his opposite foot for a dunk. The kid is incredible. He deserves to be an All-Star this year. We would not be in the position we are without him.

"Obviously, Steph is self-explanatory. Very efficient night. The highest plus-minus on the team, 18 and eight. He does that in his sleep and I'm just so happy to be out on the court with him again. We play off each other so well, and he found me for a couple easy cuts. I think we can form a pretty amazing trio."

That trio is what the Warriors envisioned when they made the trade for Wiggins in February of 2020, hoping Wiggins would mesh well with their winning culture and take the wing spot vacated by Kevin Durant's departure.

With Thompson and Wiggins on the wing, Draymond Green eventually returning as Golden State's main facilitator and Curry serving as the tip of the spear, the Warriors are finding out where all the pieces fit as they re-discover their identity.

"I thought it was great," coach Steve Kerr said of Thompson and Wiggins' chemistry Tuesday. "I thought Steph really orchestrated everything while the three of them were out there. Steph was really patient. He had eight assists and only one turnover and seemed like he was getting both those guys the ball and it all seemed very fluid and natural. So it's a great sign."

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The 19 points Wiggins scored Tuesday were his most while sharing the court with Thompson. Thompson's credentials are well-established, as are Curry and Green's. Playing alongside the champions and surefire Hall of Famers has been a joy for Wiggins who has been transformed by the Warriors' culture.

"It happens fast. They heat up fast," Wiggins said of Curry and Thompson being back together. "When they do, it’s damn near impossible to stop, but I’m happy. I’m happy Klay’s back. He's looking great. Every game he is looking more comfortable.

"I love playing with Klay. I love playing with Steph. I love playing with all the guys. Klay is a competitor. He's out there to win. He wants to win. He makes the guys around him better and he's great defensively. He can do it all. I love playing with him."

Thompson and Wiggins' chemistry is at the heart of the Warriors' master plan to get back to the NBA Finals. Four games into the experiment, things appear to be ahead of schedule, leading to the creation of an NBA behemoth that should send fear through the rest of the league.

"It's going be scary hours, as the young kids say," Thompson said about the fully healthy Warriors during his postgame interview with Warriors radio

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