The bumps in the road have been rough this season as the Golden State Warriors captured their 14th win last night and are now two games above .500 in the record books. It’s hard to imagine for many fans that the team would be struggling this much as there were high hopes of contending in the Western Conference and getting over the hump in making it to the NBA Finals.
This was supposed to be the season of destiny. The acquisition of Andre Iguodala was supposed to elevate them past the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs out west. This was supposed to be the Warriors’ season to show they’ve arrived by dethroning the Miami Heat with their new big three led by Stephen Curry.
It’s easy to blame the injury of Iguodala, which made him miss a large part of the season thus far, for their slow start but champions don’t make excuses. Champions rise to the occasion with every challenge and consistently perform when their backs are against the wall.
However, the lack of consistency from the Warriors’ third member of their big three in Klay Thompson has left a big question mark in where this team is going. Thompson’s inconsistent play has given Warriors’ fans plenty of headaches as he’s disappeared in many crucial games this season.
The shooting guard’s production is the key to the Warriors winning games as he is putting up career numbers this season in averaging 20.2 pts while shooting .463% from downtown. Don’t get me wrong, Thompson’s numbers are great, but he is heavily underachieving from his true potential to be a star in this league when you break down the numbers further.
Thompson’s play can only be compared to madness of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where we never know who is going to show up on any given game. He averages 16.7 points while shooting .387 from the field in losses as opposed to 23.5 points while shooting .528% from the field in wins this season. It takes no statistician to see a correlation here that the team needs Thompson to put up points and shoot well from the field to give the Warriors a chance at winning.
This is the pressure of being a crucial piece in a big three trying to contend for a championship. Consistent play is crucial and the defining aspect that separates the pretenders from the contenders. The Warriors can only become contenders if the Thompson that plays at an All-Star level begins to show up more and becomes the solidified piece to the Warriors’ big three.
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