Golden State Warriors: Who's Most Important To Their Long-Term Success?

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Klay Thompson

January 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) looks on during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Trail Blazers 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As aforementioned, Klay Thompson barely missed the No. 2 spot on this list, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, mind you.

Revisiting Thompson’s inconsistency is one way to go about explaining this ranking. Actually, it’s the only way.

Exhibit A: In Games 1, 2 and 3 against the San Antonio Spurs, he averaged 23.2 points in 40.1 minutes per game. Over the final three games of the series, he averaged just eight points per game.

There’s Thompson’s most recent evidence of consistency. Obviously, there are several more, but I defer you to a specific stretch in late March for Exhibit B.

Exhibit B: From March 17 to March 25, Thompson averaged 17.6 points per game. Over his next three games (March 27 to April 3), he averaged a mere four points per game.

What does this all mean?

It means that Thompson’s stock is hampered by his inconsistency. Yes, he is a shooter, and his shot selection is questionable at times. Both of those caveats contribute to his inconsistency woes.

Pure shooters–no penetration game whatsoever–tend to be inconsistent because, well, jump shots are harder than layups. There are some exceptions, of course–hence, the “tend.”

With that being said, Thompson isn’t solely one-dimensional offensively. His ball-handling skills and penetration capabilities both improved towards the latter part of the season, and the growth was noticeable. Time will only tell if both areas will continue to improve.

But Barnes will continue to hold the slight edge on Thompson until Thompson becomes more consistent.

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