“Just be patient,” Kerr said after the Warriors lost their fifth consecutive game on Thursday, November 16, against the streaking Oklahoma City Thunder. “It’s tough. They loaded up on him and made it really tough on him. They had [Lu] Dort draped all over him, doing a good job defensively.”
The Thunder’s smothering defense held Thompson to only five points on 1-of-10 shooting en route to a 128-109 win over the slumping Warriors.
Thompson’s 10% shooting clip Thursday night was only slightly better than his 1-of-13 outing in a 105-98 Warriors loss to the Sacramento Kings on March 27, 2013.
Thompson is averaging just 13.8 points, his lowest since his rookie year, on a career-low 40.1% field goal shooting.
Steve Kerr Owns Klay Thompson’s Shooting Slump
Kerr blamed himself for Thompson’s struggles from the field.
“We weren’t really able to create any space for him with our lineups, with our offense, they just kept him really smothered,” Kerr explained. “He was trying to get his own shot, and he took a lot of tough ones out of frustration. I think he’s just trying to get himself going, but we’ve gotta try to find a way to get him some cleaner looks.”
But it had been a simmering problem for the Warriors that reached its boiling point against the Thunder.
Over his past eight games, Thompson shot above 50% from the field only once. What’s more startling is his struggles are confined at home. In their first six games at Chase Center, Thompson is only putting up 10.7 points on 30.3% shooting and 27% from long distance. On the road, he’s averaging 17 points on 50% shooting and 37.8% from downtown.
Channing Frye Fries Klay Thompson Amid Shooting Slump
Former Warriors rival-turned-NBA TV analyst Channing Frye pushed for Thompson’s removal from the starting lineup amid his shooting struggles.
“I don’t expect Klay to be 2015 Klay,” Frye said on NBA TV Gametime. “I just don’t. It’s just he’s been through a lot of injuries. But this [year’s] Klay is a guy that has to come off the bench so he’s gonna have to get it together for them to win games and that’s just the truth.”
Frye’s suggestion isn’t to permanently bench the struggling wing. But only to get him more shots against weaker competition to regain his confidence.
“Are you trying to win games? Are you worried about somebody’s feelings? Maybe taking the pressure off him for a couple of games will help him get back into rhythm, where they could just focus on getting him more than seven shots and again, you’re Klay Thompson,” Frye explained.
“You got to take more than seven or 10 shots wherever it was happening. You have to be more aggressive. Your energy and confidence have to be up. Your young team is looking at you to be that leader with Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green] out.”