Though he’s had his moments, Warriors guard Klay Thompson hasn’t been exactly like his old self after missing two-plus seasons with two major injuries. For NBA fans and observers, that’s an expected development.
For Thompson, however, not so much.
A player of his caliber, with the confidence he has, only knows one way, and that’s to be great — always one of the best players on the court, at all times. Though Thompson looks incredible considering all the time he’s missed, he’s simply not himself yet. According to coach Steve Kerr, Thompson’s desire to return to his old form immediately could be impacting his uneven play this season.
Here’s part of Kerr’s comment, made on-air at 95.7 The Game in San Francisco.
Kerr’s comment sort of confirms what we’ve all seen from Thompson. He’s taking too many shots outside of the construct of the offense and missing some badly.
In fact, Thompson may have to defer to G Jordan Poole at times. It appears he understands that now, especially after the Warriors’ thrilling win over the Nuggets on Thursday, when Poole hit all the big shots late.
A more patient approach would help Thompson focus on his defense as well, which used to be elite. He’s looking better and better on that end of the floor, however.
But for my money, Thompson has no reason to press. Considering his back-to-back injuries, he looks amazing, especially physically. Clearly, his issue is mental and that’s understandable. Once he learns that Poole can handle some of the scoring load, which I believe Thompson has, he should start to settle in.
Plus, Thompson’s return has been interrupted multiple times. The All-Star break arrived shortly after his return, and he had a non-covid illness recently too. It’s not clear whether he can reach his prior form. It’s probably unlikely, to be honest. But I think it’s obvious he can get very, very close, and be a large factor in the playoffs –as long as he doesn’t try to get it all back in a day after going through hell and coming out alive.