May 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) attempts a shot over San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) in the first quarter in game four of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors: Is Klay Thompson More Than Just A Shooter?

Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry make up the Warriors star studded “Splash Brothers” backcourt. Thompson is the younger of the two guards, but his game is like a little brother compared to Curry’s more mature game.

Thompson and Curry complement each other very well, but compared to Curry, Thompson’s game is far from complete. For the first two seasons of his career, Thompson appeared to be nothing more than a three-point shooter. But early on this season, Thompson appeared to have developed a well-rounded game.

In recent weeks, however, Thompson has resorted back to being nothing more than a shooter, and his shot has been more inconsistent. Not surprisingly, as Thompson struggles, the Warriors struggle as well. Curry’s play has been a constant, but Thompson has emerged as more of an x-factor on offense than a sure thing.

Against the Jazz last Friday night, Thompson play was putrid. He shot 3-of-20 from the field, and looked lost on offense. His  jumper was consistently short and he struggled attacking the basket. Earlier in the month, he shot 29 percent against the Trail Blazers. But in the Warriors 127-121 loss to the Thunder on Jan. 17, Thompson shot 53 percent from the field and had 26 points in a team-high 41 minutes of play.

Thompson leads the league with 9.5 catch-and-shoot points per game and averages a mere 20.6 passes per game, which is the fewest number of passes by any Warrior starter by far. The Warriors don’t need Thompson to facilitate as much as they need Curry to, but if Thompson was able to create plays for more than just himself, the Warriors offense would be even more dynamic.

Thompson pulled in six rebounds on Jan. 28 when the Warriors fell to Washington at home 88-85. He hadn’t pulled in six rebounds since Nov. 27 against those very same Wizards. Maybe if head coach Mark Jackson wanted Thompson to rebound the ball more effectively, he should try to switch to the same division as the Wizards or just practice against them. And either way, right now the Wizards are actually playing better basketball then the Warriors.

(Yes I said it. THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS!!!!!)

Right now, if Stephen Curry represents the chips, then Klay Thompson is nothing more than mere salsa. He is important to the flavor and enjoyment of the chip, or in this case, the success of the Warriors, but he alone cannot do the job. He needs the chip to flourish.

In his third season, Thompson has shown flashes that his game is more than just shooting threes, but at the halfway point, he still has a ways to go.

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