Warriors Star Strikes Back at Critics: ‘That’s the Klay Thompson We Know’

Klay Thompson, Warriors

Getty Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a three-point shot against the Portland Trail Blazers.

After the Golden State Warriors barely beat the Brooklyn Nets on December 16, Klay Thompson sent a warning to the rest of the NBA: “It’s coming!”

Oh boy, he and the Warriors did.

The Warriors are back over .500 after making short work of the lottery-bound Portland Trail Blazers 126-106 on Saturday, December 23, for their fifth straight win.

At the heart of the Warriors’ revival is Thompson regaining his golden touch.

Thompson led the Warriors in the easy win with 28 points on 6 of 10 3s. It was his sixth straight game scoring 20 or more. It’s looking like all the talks about him being “washed” and “need to be traded” are all premature.

“I feel like I can still be better,” said Thompson, sending another warning.

During this Warriors’ five-game win streak, Thompson is averaging 24.8 points on 51.7% overall shooting and 46.2% from deep. Stretch that to his last six games and you Thompson have better numbers: 25.7 points on 52.9% overall shooting and 50% from deep.

“Shot selection is the biggest thing with Klay,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr trying to put a finger on what turned things around for his star wing. “Over the last five games, he’s just taking better shots and as a result, our team is more settled.”

‘That’s the Klay Thompson We Know’

The Warriors have settled down after Draymond Green’s indefinite suspension.

Thompson is back to his old self. Stephen Curry is playing at an MVP level. Chris Paul is steady. Their young guys, especially their rookies — Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis — are playing beyond their age.

But it all started with Thompson finding his rhythm.

“We’re operating more efficiently,” Kerr said because of Thompson’s revival. “We know he’s coming off screens. If he’s open, he’s shooting. If he’s not, he’s moving it and when he does that, he’s at his best and we’re at our best.”

The Warriors looked the best they have ever been this season on Saturday. Never mind if it was against a weak team.

Thompson ended up with zero assists in the game the Warriors had a season-high 38. But he gave up the ball when the defense keyed on him and shot it when he was open. It was all the Warriors needed.

“Consistently, the ball is moving, he’s finding good looks,” Curry said of his “Splash Brother.” “And that’s the Klay Thompson we know.”

Warriors Rookie Reminds Steve Kerr of Former No. 1 Pick

Jackson-Davis has been a revelation for the Warriors throughout their winning streak.

The 57th overall pick is turning out to be the steal of the last NBA Draft with monster game after monster game. Over his last four games, the rookie big man is averaging 11.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 blocks.

After his 10-point, 15-rebound double-double against the Washington Wizards, the team that owned his draft rights before it was included in the Jordan Poole trade, Jackson-Davis reminded Kerr of their former top big man.

“My first couple of years, we had Andrew Bogut,” Kerr said. “And we ran a lot of our offense through him at the top of the key. He was a master of dribble-handoffs and diving to the rim. That’s pretty high praise.”

“He’s got a long way to go, Trayce does, to become Andrew Bogut. But it’s a similar threat. Trayce is also a very good passer like Bogues was, but just being able to run those dribble-handoffs and dives. That’s the guy that I think of.”

Bogut was the 2005 first overall pick and was shipped to the Warriors for Monta Ellis which triggered the Warriors’ dynasty.