The Warriors began the season disinterested and sloppy, but have won five straight in impressive fashion. Throughout it all, Klay Thompson has been among their most consistent offensive threats and defensive weapons.
Thompson is not known as the most consistent offensive player, often going through hot and cold streaks. For example, in the 2017 playoffs he shot less than 40% from the floor. Some may argue his recent outstanding play is just one of these hot streaks, but I think it could very well be a real improvement.
So far this season, Klay Thompson is averaging 20.9 points, 2.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. Those aren’t spectacular numbers, but a deeper dive into his statistics reveal quite a bit of improvement from last year.
Thompson is averaging the fewest points per game (and per-36 minutes) since his 2013-2014 season, but his efficiency is sky high. His 63% True Shooting, if it continues, would be the best of his career, and his three-point percentage of 46% is outrageous.
Ultimately, Klay Thompson should be aiming for an offensive game that values efficiency over production. The Warriors are the deepest they’ve ever been, and have more than enough offensive contributors to handle the load. Thompson has been shooting more threes and less twos this season, and he should continue to do so.
One area of improvement for Thompson is getting to the line: Thompson has only shot seven free throws thus far. In theory, defenders have to be close to him to contest his shots due to his size, high release, and lightning-quick stroke. Simply put, Thompson can become craftier at drawing fouls.
Thompson’s rebound and block rates are at a career high, and defensively he’s been as good as ever. His length, strength, and awareness make him an impressive wing defender when he’s locked in.
At age 27, Thompson still has time to hone his game before athletic decline kicks in. In general, his improvements have gone unheralded, and people don’t take seriously how much more he can improve. On a team full of stars, Thompson’s skill can be overshadowed and sometimes forgotten. But he’d make any team in the league a good deal better and could be an effective #1 scorer for most of them.