Oversleeping in China and missing a preseason game? Okay, that’s not too big of a deal. Klay Thompson is by far on of the Golden State Warriors’ most valuable weapons, and he’s going to start coming off the bench now. Thompson was supposed to start the game against the Lakers in China, but was scratched from the starting lineup because he overslept and missed the bus.
According to Tim Kawakami, he was supposed to start. Instead of starting, however, he played Sixth Man and still received 36 minutes of playing time.
Warriors confirm that Klay Thompson didn’t start vs. LALs in Beijing because he missed team bus to the arena. Still played 36 minutes.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) October 15, 2013
Mark Jackson would likely deny that he is planning to bring Thompson off the bench, but by all indications, this seems to be the case. Is Thompson concerned?
Not at all. Rather than complaining, he still wants to win and make his team better. This is the right attitude to have, and although this may be breaking up the Warriors’ starting backcourt which has been so effective, the Warriors may be able to thrive with Harrison Barnes as a starter.
Thompson joked that he wanted to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award. He may have been kidding, but he is good enough to challenge players like J.R. Smith and Jamal Crawford. He continues to grow as an excellent player, and hopefully, these setbacks will not stunt his performance.
We can expect that Thompson becomes one of the Warriors’ top scorers. It may be a bit of a bold statement, but last year, Thompson was able to take the lead and do almost all of the first quarter scoring. If he can work on his inside game while defending effectively, he will be one of the Warriors best all-around players.
For the Warriors, it would be very useful to have a dynamic guard coming off the bench that can give an offensive and defensive boost to a slouching offense or defense. Barnes is neither a terrific defender nor a great offensive player.
Thompson will still be one of those guys who can really light it up. He is one of the best shooters in the NBA, and I think that he’s going to continue to perform well. He will be in there for the final shot, or the final defensive play. He will receive starter minutes, so expect more consistency, more dunks, and more of the same from behind the 3-point line. It’s only uphill for him from now on.