Warriors Guard Progressing To Return in Game 1 Of NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton is reportedly progressing towards a return in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Payton could be a game-time decision ahead of Thursday's clash with the Boston Celtics.

The defensive stalwart sustained a fractured elbow in Game 2 of Golden State's second-round series versus the Memphis Grizzlies. He suffered the injury after taking a hit in the head from Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks while in midair. 

Payton is going to be a huge boost for Golden State if he makes the right progress with his recovery. The 29-year-old is a terrific defender and is likely going to get the task of guarding Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should he return in time for Game 1. 

The 6-foot-3 guard plays bigger than he is and gives the Warriors an athletic and capable finisher at the basket. Defensively, he is able to guard players bigger than him due to his strength and length. 

Payton will have a couple more days to heal and ramp up his recovery as Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off this Thursday in San Francisco.

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