Klay Thompson, the slumping Splash Brother has returned to the brotherhood! Sometimes, it can be hard to separate out the standout performance on any given night - but not last night.
Thompson, long known as one of the NBA’s most efficient shooter has been famously slumping - shooting a full ten percent below his three-point percentage of last season. Out of all the troubles that have been plaguing the Golden State Warriors, this was the most perplexing.
He reunited with his shooting hand last night though, scoring a team-high 32 points on just 21 shots. As we’ve watched him struggle against his shooting woes, many long-time observers weren’t all that worried because it was only a matter of time before he regressed back to the mean average of being one of the best pure shooters in the world.
With 32 points in tonight’s game at Portland, Klay Thompson recorded his 50th career outing of 30-plus points (fifth this season).— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 30, 2018
The Also Rans
Personally, I don’t see much room for debate on this one, but let’s go ahead and run through the other top performers against the Portland Trail Blazers. Stalwart community member ServantofLuna went through the trouble of compiling these, so here they are:
Kevin Durant: (+3)
25 points 10/19 FGs 0/1 three pointer 5/6 FTs
2 rebounds 5 assists 6 turnovers 1 steal 1 block
Durant continues to be the most reliable Warrior, which is wonderful in it’s own way. But last night’s showing was another solid performance that would have had him in the running for the coveted Warrior Wonder award in pretty much any other game.
One aspect of Draymond Green’s continuing struggles is that it puts Durant in more of a playmaker role (in order to make up for Green having the ball less often). Durant’s five assists are nice enough on their own, but somewhat obscured by the six turnovers. Margins are slimmer than Durant’s legs this season, so excessive turnovers could be a long-term concern that bears watching. Nonetheless, Durant was a critical component of the offense.
25 points 6/15 FGs 2/8 three pointers 11/14 FTs
5 rebounds (1 off.) 8 assists 2 turnovers 2 steals 1 block
Like Durant, Curry is a key element of the offense (the most key element in my humble opinion, but that’s another conversation). Although his deep ball wasn’t falling, Curry was instrumental in keeping runs alive. Especially towards the end when the Blazers threatened to catch up, Curry’s ability to get to the line - and then knock those free shots down - played a pivotal role in the win.
3 points 1/6 FGs 1/2 three pointers
9 rebounds 6 assists 2 turnovers 1 block
No two ways around it: Draymond Green is suffering through his worst offensive slump of his entire career. For a man who famously yelled, “I’m not a robot” when challenged about taking too many threes it was very much in character to start the game by launching an ill-advised three early in the shot clock.
Still, his defense is world class. While the overall team ranking isn’t quite up to historical standards, the undersized Green is still one heck of a deterrent down low. A pest on the perimeter as well, it’s really going to be on us as fans to appreciate the non-box score contributions of the dynamic Forward.
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Trail Blazers?
This poll is closed
Draymond "First team all defense" Green
The Golden Sidekick
While this was a game won by our main stars, we should never overlook the rest of the squad that helps make it all happen.
Kevon Looney: (-3)
12 points 5/6 FGs 1/1 three pointer 1/2 FTs 5 rebounds (1 off.) 1 turnover 1 steal
Looney continues to impress this season. In case you weren’t aware, the biggest compliment that coach Steve Kerr can give to a player is to ask more from them. This season, Looney has gone from a popular first “big” off the bench to a starting role once Damian Jones went down with a torn pectoral muscle.
Last night, he hit a three-pointer (his first of the season), and gamely fought against Blazers Josuf Nurkic, a man who needs no quotation marks around the term ‘big.’ Looney’s role is to hold down the fort until Demarcus Cousins is ready to take over, but the pending Unrestricted Free Agent may well be playing himself out of the Warriors price range with his solid presence, level head, and nose for making the right play.
Who was your Golden Sidekick against the Portland Trail Blazers?
This poll is closed
Other (answer in comments)
Andre Iguodala - missed a shot so bad they kicked him out of the game