By Klay Thompson’s own admission, it was his worst performance of the season. Yet the 33-year-old shooting-guard wasn’t the only player to underperform in the Golden State Warriors 118-110 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
Although the Warriors conceded 118 points to the visiting Cavaliers, it was arguably their offense that cost them a chance of winning with 20 turnovers and just 41.1% shooting from the floor.
The Golden State Warriors lack of a secondary scorer behind Stephen Curry is starting to become a major issue through 10 games.
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry had a game-high 30 points on the night, but the 35-year-old often had to force things given the absence of another true scoring threat. Curry shot 9-24 from the floor, far from his efficient best as we’ve seen for the majority of this season.
Curry now has the 10 highest scoring games for Golden State this season — Dario Saric is the only other Warrior with a 20-point game. The focus should be squarely on Thompson and fellow wing Andrew Wiggins, both of whom are ye to explode for a scoring output we know they’re capable of.
Thompson averaged 21.9 points per game in 2022-23 — while he’s been consistent and efficient at times this season, the five-time All-Star hasn’t had the same sort of ‘heat-check’ performances that’s been accustomed with his game.
Wiggins has been much more of a concern, averaging 11 points for the season on a paltry 16.7% shooting from three-point range. Together, Wiggins and Thompson have failed to provide the ancillary scoring the Warriors need to be true championship-contenders.
Golden State’s improved bench, led by veteran point-guard Chris Paul, has been rightly lauded for strong play so far this season. But at the same time, the Warriors need a bucket-getter, someone outside Curry that can go get their own shot and get 20-25 points consistently.
Thompson or Wiggins need to step up in to that role, starting with a tough matchup against an elite defensive team in the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
"“I’ll be much better tomorrow. Play with more energy and individually, maybe my worst performance of this young season so far so I’m eager to have a nice bounceback,” Thompson said after the loss to Cleveland."
If the Warriors can’t get that high-level production from at least one of Thompson or Wiggins, then they may need to look at external options to fill that role. Curry will always be the engine to the offense, but the starting unit simply cannot rely on him like they have through the first 10 games.
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