Last night when the Warriors were upset by the Kings, Klay Thompson shot terribly, missing layups, and wouldn’t stop shooting. This has been the worst game of the season so far for Thompson, and he’s obviously going to bounce back. It made me think, however, that there are good things and bad things about him. Last night, he scored 4 points on 1/13 shooting with 2 turnovers. He may be one of the up and coming stars of the NBA, but there are some issues he needs to fix, and some good things that he needs to keep doing.
1. Shooting Touch:
Thompson is one of the best shooters I’ve seen in a while. He has a sweet stroke that finds the bottom of the net. Mark Jackson said that he will never tell Thompson to stop shooting, and when he’s on fire, he knows it. Hitting from 20 feet, 23 feet, 25 feet, even 30 feet, Klay Thompson knows how to find the bottom of the net, with a quick release. He’s even garnered praise from LeBron James as one of the up and coming superstars.
Another one of Thompson’s strengths is his defensive ability. On the perimeter, guys like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade sometimes struggle to get their shots off, and Thompson is playing them really well. He was even assigned the task of Kevin Durant, a guy who is 4 inches taller than him. Durant did score over 30 points, but Thompson frustrated him into very difficult shots. He moves his feet well, gets in the passing lane, denies the ball, and gets blocks. He’s an ideal defender.
1. Decision Making:
Unfortunately for Thompson, he struggles with decision making. When it’s a 2v1 fast-break, you’re supposed to drive the ball, not pull up from 30 feet away. Also, when coming off of screens, he dumps it to the roller, David Lee. Not saying this is bad, but sometimes his passes are off-target, and it creates turnovers. I’m sure he would rather have a layup or two free throws than a turnover.
2. Shot Selection:
Thompson has the worst shot selection. When he’s cold, he will shoot 20 shots per night, and miss them all. The problem with him is that he doesn’t know when to stop. He is able to hit some big shots, but when he struggles, he really struggles. He continues to be inconsistent, and this may hurt the Warriors in the playoffs. He should be shooting an open 18 foot jumpshot over a contested, fading left three pointer.