April 09, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) controls the ball ahead of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour (13) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-89 to clinch a playoff berth. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors: Why Klay Thompson Should Come Off the Bench


October 7, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) dribbles the ball during the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Kings 94-81. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors are entering the 2013-14 season with expectations through the roof. Considering the roster Golden State was able to piece together in the offseason, most notably signing defensive specialist Andre Iguodala, the Warriors should be that firepower threat everyone is expecting.

Nonetheless, the Warriors exemplified depth last season which was an enormous key to their success. One of the most important components in the NBA is depth, it’s exceedingly difficult to find great success without a solid second unit. Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, both of whom signed elsewhere this summer, stand out every time Golden State’s bench players step in. They were reliable weapons off the bench, Jack with his instant offense and Landry with his low-post game.

Now, where will the Warriors get points off the bench? It’s remained a problem in the preseason, but that’s what the warm up games are for — identifying areas of concern early and addressing them before the season begins.  They have the talent across the board in order to be a deep team, having said that, players need to step up and make plays when their time is called.

“We’ve got guys coming off our bench that can fulfill a role,” Jackson said. “And we also went and got Andre (Iguodala) for that reason. So we’re not going to overreact. It is a process. … It’ll play itself out, and we’re going to be fine.”

The Warriors are going to have an electric starting five regardless of whether Jackson decides to start Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson. However, unless LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are placed in your first five, the second unit plays a significant role. I don’t mean to say Miami does not need any productivity off the bench, although if one team could win a trophy with a not-so-productive second unit, it’d be LeBron and company.

With that being said, I believe Klay Thompson should certainly come off the bench for the Dubs. Jackson’s been juggling the idea of utilizing Barnes or Thompson off the bench since Iguodala arrived and immediately solidified himself as a starter.

An offensive spark is crucial off the bench and with Thompson being one of the best shooters around, it’d be wise to use him as a sixth man. Both are viable options as starters or bench players and the fact that it’s been contemplated goes to tell you something about this team. I just believe, at this point of their young careers, Thompson is more capable in providing that offensive spark off the bench that the Warriors need.

Barnes has breathtaking athletic ability, alongside potential through the roof. I would like to see him progress as a starter rather than a sixth man. In addition, I question whether Barnes would provide the offensive spark that Thompson is capable of bringing. Moreover, I believe Barnes has the potential to be a better overall player than Thompson, therefore I want to see him start basketball games. Last season, Barnes showcased his potential in numerous ways, some of which were simply jaw-dropping. The youngster had a couple of slam dunks that were undeniably some of the most amazing plays of the year.

Toney Douglas, Marreese Speights and Nemanja Nedovic are other players that come to mind when I think of offensive production from the second unit, though that one reliable player off the bench is essential. With his spectacular scoring ability, Klay Thompson is the answer in solving a large portion of the Warriors bench issues.

Tags: Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes Klay Thompson Mark Jackson

  • Mr Eclassstic

    I don’t think it’s a matter of who’s a better player but I agree with your conclusion. Klay’s more of a guard who can stretch the floor and really got pushed into a lot of action his rookie season, so I think he probably has a little more experience being the guy, whereas Barnes has always had talent but fit more in with the scheme of things. Klay actually can grow a lot by getting time leading the second unit, whereas I think it’s a little against the grain of how Barnes plays to be your prototypical sixth man winner, J.R. Smith, Lou Williams, Manu Ginnobli types. How many potentially “small ball” power forwards have won that award, because a lot of people base Barnes production out of being pushed into that role in the playoffs.

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  • Danny Saeed

    I completely agree. I think Klay would grow significantly as the leader of the second unit, good point. Thompson’s just that spark guy, he can go off for 30 any given night. He has that shooting ability, he can shoot a team out of the building. He would be the better option off the bench, glad you agree.