Oct 8, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) is defended by Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Sixth Man?: Analyzing Klay Thompson's Preseason Performance

The case for Klay Thompson’s place on the Golden State Warriors’ second unit seems to grow stronger with every game. In his first two preseason non-starts of the season, the Washington State University product averaged 21.5 points per game on 54 percent shooting.

That number would have been even higher if the swingman would have hit his three-pointers with his regular percentage. Thompson has shot an abysmal 21 percent from beyond the arc during this preseason, making just three of his 14 attempts over three games.

The irony of this obviously being that last season, Thompson was fire from downtown and found making even the simplest lay-up difficult. Now it seems he has overcome his issue with “Klay-ups”, yet now has gone cold from where was previously his area of expertise.

Thompson’s inconsistencies exist beyond just his lay-ups and three-pointers. After two phenomenal performances off the bench, he put up just five points in 23 minutes against the Utah Jazz. This inconsistency could be seen the most during the Warriors’ playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. After one night of spectacular shooting, Thompson disappeared for the rest of the series.

Inconsistency is one problem that can’t just be solved by whether or not the swingman starts. While a change of scenery has worked thus far in the preseason, until Thompson establishes more consistency, making him come out in the second unit is just a band-aid solution.

So far, not starting Thompson has worked partially because it has light a fire under the young guard’s feet and partially because he can be the leader and first banana of the second unit.

If bench Klay continues to outperform starter Klay, there is no reason why Coach Mark Jackson won’t continue putting him in the Sixth Man position. Thompson’s position on the depth chart is one of the biggest questions for the rest of this preseason and the sample size is too small to properly answer it right now.

Tags: Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes Klay Thompson

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