April 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) dribbles up court against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Golden State Warriors Offseason Homework: Klay Thompson

This is an offseason series of articles we’ll be doing this summer at Blue Man Hoop. In these Offseason Homework pieces, we’ll be breaking down one Warrior to figure out which area of his game needs the most improvement before the 2012-2013 Warriors season kicks off in Phoenix on October 31.

Klay Thompson’s Assignment: Be Aggressive and Attack the Basket More Often

We all know that Klay Thompson can shoot the lights out of the gym. He led all rookies in three-point shooting percentage (.414) and three-pointers made (111) last season. There is no doubt that he will be regarded as one of the top sharpshooters in the NBA in the very near future.

But the same cannot be said when he’s attacking the basket. There isn’t a doubt that he would rather chuck up threes than take the ball to the rim. And that’s ok – as long as he wants to be the next Kyle Korver.

But in all seriousness, we did see Thompson attack the basket last season on occasion, and we know that he has the capability of finishing around the rim (65.8 field goal percentage at the rim).

On Thompson’s Twitter bio, he states he is “trying to catch Ray Allen one day”.  He may have as a good a three-point shot as Allen, but keep in mind that Allen also has the tenacity to attack the rim (the guy was in the dunk contest once, for Pete’s sake).

It obviously isn’t fair game to compare a future Hall-of-Famer to a developing second year player, but Thompson should look up to Allen as a mentor. What made Ray Allen so lethal in his prime was his ability and willingness to attack the basket. If defenders backed off on him, he would drain a three. If they played him tight, he would just blow right past the defender to the rim.

That is exactly what Klay Thompson has to do if he wants to take his game to the next level. We all know that he can shoot the three, but that just means teams will play him tight so he doesn’t get a quality shot off. But if he can blow by the defender and take it strong to the rim, that will scare teams off. At that point, it will be “pick your poison” whenever Thompson has the ball – either have him drain a three in your face, or drive right by you to the rim.

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