Is it time for the Warriors to make a drastic move to address their “Klay Thompson” problem?
NBA TV’s Gametime analyst Channing Frye believes so.
“I don’t expect Klay to be 2015 Klay,” Frye said. “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.”
Thompson has not shot over 50% in his last seven games. For the season, he’s shooting a career-worst 40.1% from the field and 32.9% from deep. His 13.8-point scoring average is a career-low since his rookie year when he put up 12.5 points in 24.4 minutes.
“I think he’s in a matrix right now,” Frye said. “I think he just overthinking, I don’t know. Maybe he’s uncomfortable with how the game is being played or how his role is or whether it’s his contract, whatever it is.”
Klay Thompson off the Bench
Having Klay Thompson come off the bench could be a bad look in a contract year. But it could also benefit him and the Warriors in the long run.
Frye’s suggestion isn’t to permanently bench the struggling wing.
“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.”
Thompson is only attempting 12.7 shots per game this season, a far cry from last season’s 18.1.
Draymond Green Suspension
Green’s five-game suspension took a toll on the Warriors Thursday night as the Thunder had their way on offense.
The Thunder shot 50.9% from the field and hit 19 of 32 3-pointers.
While Green’s absence was massively felt, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Green deserved it.
“He took it too far,” Kerr said via ESPN before the game. “Draymond was wrong. He knows that. It’s a bad look, and the five games are deserved.”
Green’s long history as a repeat offender factored in heavily in the NBA’s decision to suspend Green for the fifth time in his career.
Kerr initially defended Green from going after Gobert because he pointed out that the Timberwolves center’s hands were in Thompson’s neck as shown in the video replays.
“But he’s got to let go,” Kerr said. “He hung on for six, seven seconds. It was a terrible visual for the league, for Draymond and for everybody.”
It was Green’s second ejection over his last three games.
“Draymond has to find a way to not cross the line,” Kerr said. “I’m not talking about getting an ejection or a technical, I’m talking about a physical act of violence. That’s inexcusable. We have to do everything we can to give him the help and assistance he needs to be able to draw that distinction between being an incredible competitor … but he can’t cross that line. He crossed it the other night, for sure.”