Thoroughly enough, Klay Thompson has already experienced a series of tormented change throughout the first eleven-games of the season. There’s nothing to question about Kevin Durant’s landing in Golden State that did the entire damage.
As stated earlier, Thompson has taken a full step backwards, as he is now the third-option on this Warriors team. After having much growing success in seasons’ past, he’s now fallen out of the conversation — as the NBA’ best Shooting Guard.
It all started when Stephen Curry blew-up in the 2015-16 season. He unanimously won his second consectutive Most Valuable Player award, while being pushed further-and-further away from being “The Better Splash Brother.”
Nowadays, no one really speaks about the “Splash Brothers” with Durant now in the mix. It hasn’t afffected Curry’s game as much, as he still has the control of directing plays. Klay Thompson, meanwhile, has taken a brutal hit to his shooting touches, especially from the three-point line. Let’s check out what’s killing his role.
- Averaging 18.5 points per game. 31% from three.
- 38.% on catch-and-shoot; 33% on one dribble pull-ups
- 31% on shots from 16-feet out, a career-worst.
- 18.% from three when a defender is at a distance of 2-4 feet.
- 21% from three when a defender is at a distance of 4-6 feet.
- 43% from three when a defender is at a distance of 6+ feet.
- Shooting 75% with at least 7-4 seconds in the shot clock; 40% from anytime earlier.
So it’s very simple. Klay has struggled uncomfortably in this system, and has continued to search for easier looks. What people HAVEN’T realized, is that his offensive game isn’t dwindled down to just catch-and-shoot touches. He’s an isolation assailant.
Oddly enough, Thompson’s usage (24.2) has been roughly around his career-average. His win shares per-48 minutes have taken a significant hit (.144 in 15-16; .018 in 16-17).
And one more stat I’d like to drop: Klay is shooting 75% from the field when he has possession of the ball for 6 seconds or longer.
Yeah, I’m blown-away too.
Although the Warriors are currently 9-2, and have done just as well as many would expect them to, we’ve seen their starting Shooting Guard struggle mightily in the early going. Thompson’s biggest performance unquestionably came on Sunday against Phoenix, scoring 30 on 11-18 shooting, along with 5-8 shooting from three.
After surfaced rumors of a possible Thompson-trade, there simply isn’t a fair-enough reason to. It certainly won’t be due to his early-season slump — in which I believe he’s going to shake loose from it. You have t rememeber that he’s been known as a streaky shooter throughout his young career.
And if he somehow manages to not recuperate or find his consistent stroke that he’s always had by All-Star weekend, that’ll be perhaps a more appropriate time to consider moving.
But as for now — drink on, Klay…
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