Klay Thompson has struggled to shoot the ball in his return to the Golden State Warriors and much of his troubles are coming from poor shot selection and rushed field goal attempts.
It’s time for Klay Thompson to curb his enthusiasm and get back to playing within the flow of the Golden State Warriors’ offense.
No one could judge Klay when he took every shot attempt that came his way during his first game in nearly two years. Since then, however, Thompson has continued firing away and it’s costing him in the long run.
Thompson is attempting 15.3 field goals in 26.5 minutes of playing time each night. This is giving him the highest attempts per 36 minutes of his career at 20.8.
At this rate, Klay is attempting the ninth most field goals per 36 minutes of any player to appear in at least 500 total minutes this season, above names like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Thompson is shooting the worst field goal percentage of the top-20 in this group.
Klay Thompson is rushing his shots
More than 40% of Thompson’s field goals this season have been pull-ups. In contrast, pull-ups accounted for only 32% of his shot chart in 2018-19.
A massive 55% of his attempts came with zero dribbles in 2019 — now, that mark is only 45%.
What’s more, close to 70% of Klay’s attempts are coming within the first two seconds of him touching the ball. That number was 60.8 back in the 2018-19 season.
Taking difficult shots is nothing new for Thompson. In fact, 43% of his field-goal attempts in 2018-19 were tightly or very tightly contested. This number has remained roughly the same.
However, there is a big difference between taking tough shots when you are at the height of your powers — and forcing difficult looks when you’re trying to get back into the swing of things.
One-legged fadeaways have never been a core part of Thompson’s offensive game. Yet, he’s been jacking up ill-advised shots every chance he gets as the urge to return to peak offensive form has been irresistible.
Some of this, if not most of it, will be resolved when Draymond Green returns and brings more life to the Warriors’ offense. Green’s playmaking will open quality looks for Thompson and Stephen Curry.
Still, Klay should look to ease himself back into the offense. It’s clear that he is pressing to get back to his old ways but it would be much more effective if he allowed the game to come to him naturally. Right now, he’s trying too hard to catch fire.