Home
The Klay Dilemma Reviewed by Momizat on . The Warriors aren’t invincible, who knew? Times are uneasy, weary and frankly perturbing of late in Warriors Ground as the team has lost three of their past fou The Warriors aren’t invincible, who knew? Times are uneasy, weary and frankly perturbing of late in Warriors Ground as the team has lost three of their past fou Rating:
You Are Here: Home » Archives » The Klay Dilemma

The Klay Dilemma

The Warriors aren’t invincible, who knew?

Times are uneasy, weary and frankly perturbing of late in Warriors Ground as the team has lost three of their past four games (by an average of 14.6 points) while in the midst of their toughest stretch of games this season (11 road games in 17 days along with games against the Heat, Spurs, Clippers, Thunder and the Bulls).

The Warriors have been near perfect up to this point, really. Even with the additional talent acquired this season, not even the greatest optimists had the Warriors at 10 games over .500 through 36 games this season. We’ve gotten accustomed to a certain invincibility, a sense of power that we haven’t felt or seen from in years.

Now, as the ship is steering in a direction that we are in fact accustomed to, we’re clamoring for a scapegoat. This season isn’t over, the team isn’t rebuilding and the Warriors are as close to being playoff locks without actually being deemed so (90.1% according to John Hollinger’s Playoff Odds).

Still, the Warriors haven’t looked good lately. Their shellacking at the hands of the rival Clippers was as depressing as the ending to Million Dollar Baby (poor Maggie), their disappointing home loss to the stingy Grizzlies very easily could have been had and their latest loss against the Nuggets (I’m as glad as anyone that we’re done seeing them this season) was simply disheartening.

During this tough stretch, whilst Stephen Curry and David Lee are very much playing to their All-Star selves, while Jarrett Jack is playing through an elbow injury and while the loss of a certain Australian big man is exceedingly felt, there is one player who is taking all the heat: Klay Thompson.

Thompson is an enigma of sorts: his shooting stroke is near perfect, his size is more than adequate for his position and he’s proven to be an admirable defender. Still, especially in recent days, his play has caused many to wonder if he truly is a future star as many predicted during his impressive, tank-laden rookie campaign.

He’s easy to blame, whether fair or not. He’s made the most threes in the NBA amongst shooting guards, but has also attempted the most (249, 26 more than Kobe) while ranking 27th in the league (39%) in 3P%. His recent turnover barrage (16 in his last five games), highlighted by the Andre Iguodala stuff-dunk-throwing it out of bounds sequence Sunday night, has been discouraging to say the least.

He’s not losing games for the team, but he’s not winning them either. Does he need to? Not necessarily, but he can’t be a hindrance when he’s on the floor either. His efficiency rate is listed at 12.79 (15.00 is the league average), which is good for 31st amongst qualified shooting guards, not all guards, shooting guards alone.

His ability to shoot is both a gift and a curse. He relies on the jumper to the nth degree (84% of Thompson’s shots are jumpers this season, according to 82games.com), which for such a gifted shooter isn’t necessarily troubling, just a minor concern. At 6’7”, 205 pounds Thompson has the physical gifts to be a dual threat on the offensive end, he just chooses not to. Contested Thompson shots are better than many players open shots, but that doesn’t make them any smarter.

I’m not calling for a complete overhaul of Thompson’s offensive repertoire, just a slight change in philosophy. In the midst of his recent stretch, his offensive stubbornness is that much more visible. He’s only drawn 28 fouls this season (James Harden has drawn 156 fouls) and conversely he’s committed the fourth most amongst SGs this season (99). The more you shoot the less you’re fouled, and the offense often sputters and looks rather Washington Wizards-y with Thompson given the ultimate green light.

With that said, Thompson is an upgrade over the previous installment at that position in nearly every facet of the game (especially defense), even while some crazies still clamor for the days of he-who-shall-not-be-named. Those days are long gone, even while some insist on never letting it go. Thompson was the first draft pick under the new ownership and has earned the praise of one Jerry West especially.

“Klay Thompson’s going to be helluva player, trust me,” West said last February. “He knows what he’s doing, he knows how to play. He’ll start taking the ball to the basket more…He gives them a lot more versatility. Going forward, that’s going to be so much of a positive force for us.”

There’s no doubt that Thompson is already a helluva player as West states, the doubt now centers around whether his exceptional shooting will limit his otherwise star potential. Up to this point, he’s gotten by with being a one trick pony on the offensive end. Now, as numerous offensive talents surround him (not Jeremy Tyler, Chris Wright and Mickell Gladness), Thompson’s struggles are becoming more easily noticeable.

He’s good, but he can be better, therein lies the frustration. Thompson has the physical gifts to become a mainstay, but if his recent transgressions are any indication, that won’t be the case for much longer. The talent is there, the improvement isn’t. Fans want to see him succeed because they know he can be more. It’s still early, and while this may seem like an early proclamation for future failure, it’s in fact the opposite.

In the midst of an impressive 23-13 campaign, Thompson has received more criticism than praise. While rumors swirled around a potential Harden-for-Thompson swap pre-season and a Rudy Gay-for-Thompson/Barnes trade most recently, one wonders how untouchable he truly is if things don’t change. Still, his role is cemented on this team, and in the middle of a probable playoff season Thompson has all the ingredients to improve the entirety of his game, not just become the one-dimensional threat he’s become known to be.

He’s simply too talented to stay the same.

About The Author

Jordan Ramirez

Jordan Ramirez is a 22 year-old Bay Area resident with a love for basketball and an obsession for everything worth obsessing over. Growing up and residing in San Jose, the Warriors have brought both tears of joy and sadness to his life (mostly the latter). When he's not sharing his thoughts on music, movies, pop culture and Kanye West you can find him writing for WarriorsWorld and hosting the WarriorsWorld podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@JRAM_91), IG: (JRAM_91) and e-mail him at (jordan@warriorsworld.net).

Number of Entries : 215
  • Daniel S.

    It’s simple, to me — Klay is an intelligent person, but when it comes to basketball decisions, he’s been pretty consistently stupid. His shot selection in situations besides catch-and-shoots can be frequently baffling, his fouls are often the same, he often gets caught in the air with no one to pass to and his body in no position to take a shot at the basket, and throws in other myriad head-scratchers — from botched out of bounds passes to odd decisions on how to finish drives to the basket in the fast break.

    He’s trying to be a playmaker, and it’s extremely evident he very much is not right now — and it’s all based on his decision-making, rather than his actual skill.

  • Alec

    I wouldn’t mind seeing how Bazemore does with extended minutes, letting Klay come off the bench and run the team without Curry. I’m liking the Jack Curry Barnes backcourt line up more and more, especially with Barnes starting to find his game.

    Try this one on for size though, would you rather have Klay or Lin on the Warriors? Its weird to think that this team could have a lot their offensive of problems fixed had they held on to Jeremy Lin.

  • http://wilsonsoriano.acndirect.com WIL

    KLAY THOMPSON STINKS AND SO DOES THIS BLOG FOR HAVING THIS STUPID “CAPTCHA CODE” (YOU LOSE EVERYTHING IF YOU DON’T PUT THE CORRECT CODE, VERY DISCOURAGING, NOW I FORGOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY)
    KLAY THOMPSON IS THE ONLY UNDOING OF COACH JACKSON THIS YEAR, HE LOOKS LIKE A SCORNED FACE, LIKE WE WOULD SAY IN SPANISH (NIÑO REGAÑADO), KLAY HAS COST US MORE GAMES THAN WON (IF ANY). HE LOSES FOCUS WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN, LIKE WHEN HE MAKES MISTAKES OR GETS DUNKED ON. I’LL SAY START JARRETT JACK OR CHARLES JENKINS OR BAZEMORE OVER HIM
    KLAY IS THE ONLY STARTER THAT HAS REALLY PISSED ME OFF, AND I DON’T KNOW WHY JACKSON LEAVE HIM OUT THERE TOO LONG TO KEEP MAKING MORE MISTAKES, BUT YET HE HAS A SHORT LEASH ON HARRISON BARNES, VERY UPSETTING. PUT KLAY ON THE BENCH NOW.

  • http://wilsonsoriano.acndirect.com WIL

    KLAY THOMPSON STINKS AND SO DOES THIS BLOG FOR HAVING THIS STUPID “CAPTCHA CODE” (YOU LOSE EVERYTHING IF YOU DON’T PUT THE CORRECT CODE, VERY DISCOURAGING, NOW I FORGOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY)
    KLAY THOMPSON IS THE ONLY UNDOING OF COACH JACKSON THIS YEAR, HE LOOKS LIKE A SCORNED FACE, LIKE WE WOULD SAY IN SPANISH (NIÑO REGAÑADO), KLAY HAS COST US MORE GAMES THAN WON (IF ANY). HE LOSES FOCUS WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN, LIKE WHEN HE MAKES MISTAKES OR GETS DUNKED ON. I’LL SAY START JARRETT JACK OR CHARLES JENKINS OR BAZEMORE OVER HIM.

  • Frankie R

    Wait wait wait, you see this fool down here sayin. start Bazemore over Klay!?! Bazemore can score on the D league level. I am not saying that his game will never transfer to the NBA, but he has a ton of work to do first. It is a whole different level. What you have realize Klay brings to the warriors is that he is one more player that can score from anywhere that he gets the ball. Opposing teams can NOT afford to leave him open. Just like curry, just like David lee, just like Landry, and most other warriors players. It makes them extremely difficult to guard at times, if not impossible when they have good shooting nights. When a team has people who can score the ball almost anywhere that they would reasonably get the ball, opponents cannot afford a single mistake on D. Klay helps us do that with his shooting, and he gets people open. Bazemore is much less respected on the offensive end, and would ultimately lead to more pressure in our better players. Maybe in the future, because Bazemore has a lot of potential, but not now. Not in a season where we have been doing so well would you want to make a change like that.

  • Frankie R

    Go ahead, say some more stuff about Monta, you saw what happened to Lacob!

  • Frankie R

    You know what Mr. Jordan Ramirez! Monta blames this on YOU!

  • Frankie R

    Ok, but seriously. I had no idea Klay’s fouling was so bad, he has to fix that.. But then again he plays for the warriors.. And if that Nuggets game we barely won earlier this season was any inclination, the refs will do any and everything to try to get us to lose games..

  • Frankie R

    Whuup! Lets just blame it on MONTAAAA!! Here we go again!!

  • Sima

    @Jai, Start Bazemoore over KThompson? Please wake up. Warriors already play 4 on 5 on the offensive end, and this would lead to 3 on 5 in my opinion. Klay is not perfect, but give him some time, he could become next Chris Mullin (he is the same size, can play both SG/SF) in Warriors uniform one day. I already see Klay develops his moving skills and curling screens multiple times with changing direction – similar way to the aforementioned Hall of Famer, instant motion on the offense. Just give him some more time.

  • Jai

    Thanks for writing this article. I’ve been tellin people that Klay is streaky, and he zones out quite a bit. He did the same thing back in AAU days. He is what he is. What he ain’t is a superstar. SorryJerry West. I know you think otherwise. I think Jackson should make a bold move and start Bazemore at SG. He’s a cold blooded defender, and let’s see if his 22 pts a game in the D league translates to the NBA. Klay? Let’s see if he can fill it up off the bench.

© 2014 Warriors World

Scroll to top