Warriors’ Klay Thompson Issues Bold Decree on Playoff Chances

Klay Thompson Warriors-Bulls

Getty Golden State Warriors wing Klay Thompson warms up prior to a game against the Chicago Bulls

After routing the San Antonio Spurs in front of a record-breaking crowd at the Alamodome in their previous outing, the Golden State Warriors were full of good mojo heading into their bout with DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls in the Windy City on Sunday night.

Outside of Klay Thompson dropping eight three-point bombs and another solid performance from two-way baller Anthony Lamb, however, the Warriors largely looked like the inconsistent bunch that recently lost three straight games in embarrassing fashion.

With a 132-118 loss dropping the Warriors to 21-22 — and a paltry 4-17 away from Chase Center — one can’t help but wonder whether the club has what it takes to even make it to postseason play at this point. When reporters asked Thompson about that after the game, though, he scoffed at the notion that the Dubs wouldn’t be there.

“None. Zero. Zero,” Thompson said of his playoff race concerns. “Just get us there healthy and in one piece. Hopefully with a decent seed.”

Klay Thompson’s Warriors Were Far From Sharp Against a Scuffling Bulls Squad

If the Warriors continue to have games like they did against the Bulls, those concerns might begin to crop up. Teams can have off shooting nights or games where the split on 50/50 balls is skewed, of course, but the mental errors that occurred time and time again versus the Bulls were disconcerting.

“I would say the 23 turnovers definitely hurt but… defense wasn’t great,” Thompson said of Golden State’s problem areas. “We’ll clean it up for tomorrow night [against the Washington Wizards].”

Shockingly, Stephen Curry was the biggest culprit in the TO department, racking up a game-high eight giveaways. They came in a variety of ways, too, with several lazy and/or forced passes, multiple traveling violations and even a lost dribble.

Some of that — maybe a lot of that — can be attributed to the rust one accrues after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury. But, clearly, a higher level of focus will be required if the team hopes to turn its luck around on the road (and in general).

Nikola Vucevic Couldn’t Be Stopped

Defensively, the fact that Nikola Vucevic was allowed to run wild with 43 points (on 18-of-31 shooting) was eye-raising on two fronts. First, there’s that focus issue; the attention to detail and communication that the dynastic Warriors have been known for, which has wavered at times this season.

“I thought our coverages just broke down several times,” said head coach Steve Kerr about defending Vucevic.

Secondly, there’s a roster component to consider. Sure, the Warriors are dealing with some injuries, but the complete absence of a big defensive pivot and the lack of frontcourt depth overall are things that could continue to hinder the team unless chief decision-maker Bob Myers addresses them on the trade market.

Whether it’s Jakob Poeltl, Myles Turner or someone else, the Dubs could really use a plus-sized deterrent with passing chops and, preferably, some outside touch on the other end of the floor. If the organization is committed to keeping and developing its youngsters — James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, et al. — though, acquiring such a player may not be in the cards.

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