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April 16, 2022

Klay Thompson

San Francisco, California, USA: Game One

Postgame Media Conference

Golden State Warriors 123, Denver Nuggets 107

Q. We knew the three-guard lineup with you, Steph and Jordan would be lethal. What was it like?

KLAY THOMPSON: Jordan Poole, wow, what a playoff debut. All his hard work is paying off. If he doesn't get most improved this year, it doesn't make any sense. Without him we would not be where we are out. We should be very grateful for the development ask type of player he's become. He's just incredible. What a star in the making.

As far as being out there with Steph and him and Wiggs and Draymond, it's a scary sight when we really get going. This is really only our first time really playing together.

Q. It was something like 28 percent free throw shooter as a rookie, better last year, still in the lower 30s. Behind the scenes, did you see this guy will eventually be a really good three-point shooter?

KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, to be 20 years old and have to deal what he did his rookie year, it made him so much stronger. And just to be 20 years old in the NBA is an incredible feat. I knew it was in him and he's just going to keep getting better, and to show the composure he did tonight was just awesome. I mean, he's 22 years old and he's out there scoring 30 effortlessly. He's just -- I can't say enough good things about him.

Q. How do you think Steph looked out there tonight?

KLAY THOMPSON: I thought he looked great. His shot was mortgage in the first half but that's to be expected when you have that long off from game play but he's still Steph Curry and still made huge shots for us. He's still plus 17, and just his gravity and the threat of him being out there is the best. I mean, it just makes us a championship team.

Q. This had been a long time coming for you, the playoff stage. What did it mean to have you and Draymond on the floor at last, what did it mean to you?

KLAY THOMPSON: Very special. I thought about all the days in the gym, the days in the doctor's office on the surgery table and just be flying up and down the court, knocking shots down and playing solid defense. It was a surreal moment for me and to do it in front of the crowd we had, I give dub nation amazing credit. They were so loud as we ran through the tunnel. Just something I won't take for granted, just being able to play playoff basketball. It was very surreal for me.

Q. What was going on with you and Drew Gordon? I don't rarely see that you angry on the court?

KLAY THOMPSON: Just good, old-fashioned trash talk. I missed it. I missed the competitiveness of the game. I miss being able to talk to the guys and talk mess, and that stuff gets me going from time to time and that was a good time. Aaron is competitive and so am I, and we're not going to back down.

Q. You guys have a history of the small ball death lineup going back to '14, '15; what type of potential, lethal potential does you, Steph, Jordan, Draymond and Andrew have?

KLAY THOMPSON: Well, the spacing, play-making, shooting, it's all there and I think it's a line that up will have incredible success for years to come and it was fun to be a part of it tonight.

Q. What did you think of the defense on Jokic tonight, specifically what Draymond was able to do?

KLAY THOMPSON: Draymond is the best defender in the world, and we ask so much of him. For him to force Loon and Dray, for him to make Nikola shoot 25 times and score 25 points, it's a great night.

I mean, obviously Jokic is such a great player; he's an MVP, and those guys took on the challenge and will continue to do so throughout the series. But Draymond is the best defender I've ever played with and he's just really a difference-maker out there. Without him, we're not the Warriors.

Q. From a pace perspective, there was a play late second quarter where Nuggets threw it out and he rushed it in bounds and got it to Jokic. A play like that, what does it do for you guys?

KLAY THOMPSON: Draymond? His defense sometimes over shadows his offense but he's like a 6-7 point guard out there who can knock down a three. He makes the right play and he's great around the rim and just unlocks our whole offense because he's guarding centers and being able to play point guard. That's so unique. Who else is doing that in the NBA?

Q. You've played with Draymond so many years. What do you think makes him such a special defender in the postseason?

KLAY THOMPSON: His heart. Draymond has the most passion I've seen on the court and he's a very intelligent defender. He's always in the right spot. He's quarterbacking the defense and he can switch from the point guard to the center. He's just an incredible basketball player.

Q. You said that you've always seen this from Jordan Poole and you've always known he's had this inside of him. What specifically like has shown you that he has always had this and what's it like seeing the development of him turn into a star like this?

KLAY THOMPSON: His work ethic. A lot of guys get to the NBA and they are content but Jordan from day one was in the gym, after practice, he would come back at night. He would shoot after a poor night of shooting. He just stuck with it. Went down to the G-League his rookie year and just got better. Just his hunger. He always had the talent. He had the handling skills. He had the shot. But his work ethic is what's going to propel him to start him.

Q. It's only one game but when you have so many guys who had not played together for so long, did you need this kind of a game to look at the bigger picture and say, all right, we have one goal, we're good enough to make a push all the way to the end here? What does it do for the mindset?

KLAY THOMPSON: Well, it's just one game. But it definitely makes things -- you can relax for tonight because no one enjoys losing their first playoff game and doesn't mean anything if we lay an egg on Monday. We have to come back out with the same fire.

But it was a great way to start the postseason. Collective effort from the whole team. I mean, Andrew Wiggins showed his two-way ability, near double-double with some great defense and his play at the rim is so needed for our teams because we don't have a lot of explosive guys like him. Him and JK are some of the best athletes I've ever seen.

We needed a night like this just to feel like we can play together. Was the first time we've almost been whole in years.

Q. Following up on what you're saying about Jordan, in what ways did his presence make your job easier when you're on the court?

KLAY THOMPSON: I play off Jordan so well. He plays the ball screen and it laws me to play the ball off fly-off screens and allows me to be that catch-and-shoot sniper I always was. He's like Steph with the ball in his hands as far as his ability to shoot off the pick-and-roll, and we just have developed a great chemistry the last month or two of just playing ball.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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