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Warriors need Klay to be Klay against the Lakers

The Lakers caused issues for Klay Thompson in last year’s playoffs, but he showed signs of bouncing back against them in last night’s loss.

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Golden State Warriors from the playoffs last year, and they handed them another emotionally painful defeat last night in Chase Center.

One thing that’s becoming clear in this matchup between division rivals and legacy franchises is that L.A. has done an excellent job of keeping Klay Thompson from finding consistency on the offensive end. That’s no small feat considering Thompson is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history and has more records than Motown.

Since his 30 point explosion in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals when he hit 11-of-18 from the field (61%), he has not been able to keep a rhythm against the Lakers, the team his father Mychal played for.

  • Game 3: 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting (35% FG%), 3-of-9 from 3PT range.
  • Game 4: 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting (27% FG%), 3-of-9 from 3PT range.
  • Game 5: 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting (25% FG%), 2-of-6 from 3PT range.
  • Game 6: 8 points on 3-of-19 shooting (16% FG%), 2-of-12 from 3PT range.

His performance was so frustrating for Dub Nation that there was open conversation about whether or not he’d be in Golden State’s future plans after that series, particularly from the SF Gate:

Thompson is set to earn $43.2 million next season, per Spotrac, and become an unrestricted free agent the season after that. The tough part is figuring out what he’s worth, with this stinker of a postseason in the immediate rearview. He’s won four titles, set multiple NBA records, won the hearts of fans all around the Bay Area and country, and helped revolutionize the sport of basketball along with Steph Curry. But he’s also on the wrong end of 30 and has had two incredibly destructive leg injuries. Thompson did lead the NBA in 3-pointers made this year in his first full season back after tearing his Achilles; the Warriors will have a long summer to figure out what’s next for him.

That’s why it was exciting that last night he heroically fought for 47 minutes, bouncing back from a rough first half where he was 1-of-8 from the field.

He would finish 9-of-24 from the field, tallying 22 points, knocking down 6-of-17 attempts from beyond the arc. He finished at 37% shooting from the field, and was a major reason the Warriors were in the game down the stretch before he fouled out.

The Warriors will see the Lakers three more times this season (at least). If Thompson can keep that scoring like had in that second half going, the Dubs will be in great shape in this matchup. After all, Splash Bros never splash alone!

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