Warriors News: Klay Thompson Listed as ‘Biggest Winner’

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.


Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

It’s been a rocky season thus far for the Golden State Warriors. The summer was full of championship celebrations and extension talks, but now that the season is here, the Warriors sit at 11-11 on the year, placing them in the middle of the Play-In Tournament race.

That being said, the year hasn’t been all bad. Klay Thompson began the season struggling, but since then, he’s turned things around. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Thompson was one of the “biggest winners” of November.

“Thompson wasn’t the only one holding the Warriors back earlier this season, but it’s no surprise that his return to form has coincided with the flexing of their championship muscle,” Buckley wrote. “Golden State, which has won eight of it past 11 games, has fared a whopping 24.5 points better per 100 possessions with Thompson than without him this month.”

The veteran guard’s improvements have helped his season numbers tick upward. So far this year, he’s appeared in 18 of the Warriors’ 22 games, playing 29.7 minutes per contest. He’s averaging 17.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 40.1% shooting from the floor and 39.2% shooting from three-point range.

Thompson’s Rough October Outings

While his November success has been great to watch, the reason it’s been covered as such a big deal is because of how much he struggled in the earlier portion of the season. As noted by Buckley, Thompson’s October saw him struggle mightily.

“In those six October outings, Thompson averaged just 12.3 points while shooting 34.6 percent overall and 28.6 percent from range,” Buckley pointed out. “But through 11 November contests, he was up to 20.6 points on 43.2 percent shooting and 44.8 percent from three. And while he struggled shooting in the final game of the month—a 116-113 loss to Dallas on Tuesday—cutting out “the noise” made a difference.”

But at the same time, the criticism Thompson received for his early problems was a bit premature, and he used them to lock back in.

“Thompson heard the criticism,” said Buckley. “Too much of it, actually, so he unplugged from social media and apparently unlocked the path back to his typical marksmanship.”

Thompson Slowing Down in Other Areas

For his entire career, Thompson has been heralded as one of the best shooters in NBA history, often only placed behind his long-time teammate Stephen Curry. However, on top of that, he was always one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.

Nowadays, despite his recent resurgence, that may not be the case. With two season-ending injuries under his belt, in addition to the fact that he’s already 32 years old, his defense isn’t quite the same. His offense, however, is getting there.

“He’s not quite as nimble defensively as he once was, and given his age, injury history and mileage, he might never get all the way back on that end,” Buckley explained. “Offensively, though, he’s right back to being a net-shredding buzz saw and floor-spacing asset for this attack.”

As Thompson inches back closer and closer to his former self, it looks as though the Warriors will continue to improve alongside him.

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