After missing the Golden State Warriors‘ previous two contests due to illness, Klay Thompson wasn’t about to get the hat trick. Instead, he hopped a plane to Dallas alongside injured big man Draymond Green to rejoin his team on its current road trip.
He wasn’t content just to be there, though — he was determined to suit up and help the Dubs get back to their winning ways. “I’m playing,” the five-time All-Star declared. “I didn’t come all the way to Dallas to watch.”
Thompson did play, too. However, given what transpired in the contest, he may wish that he had waited for another game to make his big return.
Thompson started and played 28 minutes against the Mavericks on Thursday. However, he finished just 6-for-17 from the field and Golden State was outscored by 10 points when he was on the court. Consequently, the Warriors lost the game 122-113.
Klay Takes the Blame
During his postgame media availability, Thompson was being his own toughest critic, essentially declaring that the loss was on him.
“I got to make some shots, man. I can’t be air-balling and shooting off the side of the backboard. I gotta be better. It’s on me. I did not play well tonight,” said Thompson.
“Every time I step out there, I expect to be great, so I’ll be better… As my minutes tick up, I think I will get there. Got to keep firing away, and it will come.”
It wasn’t just his shooting that he considered to be inadequate in the contest. Thompson also believes he needs to be more of a facilitator for others. The 32-year-old finished the game with two assists and two turnovers.
“At times on the ball, I didn’t do a great job of firing out to open guys. So, we’ll get it right Saturday.”
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Coach Kerr Chimes In
As Warriors coach Steve Kerr sees it, Thompson just needs to keep playing in order to shake off the rust. After all, the baller hasn’t just been sick, he’s still finding his footing after missing more than two years due to injury.
“Tough night for Klay,” he said. “He is coming back from the illness. He needs all these reps. He needs the minutes for what’s ahead, and we got 19 games left, so he’s going to have some bumps in the road.
“We’re going to keep going to him and putting him out there and letting him feel the minutes down the stretch, and he’s going to get better.”
Kerr believes that Thompson needs to stop pressing and also echoed the sharpshooter’s sentiments on being a more active and willing passer.
“I think when he has gotten into trouble, it’s because he is forcing the issue, and he just needs to let the game come to him and move the ball and trust that the ball will come back to him,” he said.
“He’s trying too hard. You can’t blame him. He’s been out for two-and-a-half years, and he just wants to come back and make an impact. But hopefully, from here, he stays healthy and can get into a nice groove.”