Klay Thompson

How Klay finding his groove is benefiting Warriors' young players

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In the Warriors’ 126-106 win over the Portland Trailblazers on Saturday night at Chase Center, Klay Thompson had another impressive outing, shooting 11 for 16 from the field with 28 points.

The four-time NBA champion has averaged 24.8 points per game during Golden State’s five-game win streak, which happens to be during the league's indefinite suspension of Draymond Green.

The Warriors are playing their hottest basketball of the season and know Thompson’s success is crucial to the team’s ceiling.

“Shot selection is the biggest thing with Klay [Thompson], I think over the last five games,” Kerr told reporters after Golden State’s win over Portland. “He’s taking better shots, and as a result, our team is more settled. We just feel like we’re operating more efficiently. He’s coming off screens. If he’s open, he’s shooting it. if he’s not [open], he’s moving it. And when he does that, he’s at his best and we’re at our best.”

Thompson began the season slumping, averaging under 16 points before the Warriors’ recent impressive stretch. 

In Thompson's last five outings, the five-time NBA All-Star is shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 46.3 percent from deep, while also averaging five made 3-pointers per game over that span.

Thompson’s excellent play doesn’t just help the Warriors win games and strengthen his case for a big contract next offseason, but the guard’s success also makes the game easier for Golden State’s younger players like rookie Brandin Podziemski.

“I think [Thompson’s] playing well because he’s playing the right way," Podziemski told reporters after Saturday's win over Portland. "I think ever since the [Los Angeles Clippers] game, he just has that mindset of ‘Two people come to me, someone’s open and I’ll let my teammates play 4-on-3 from there.’ Ever since he’s done that, it makes it easier for me and [Jonathan Kuminga] to make shots because he draws so much attention, and a lot of times we’re just wide open. 

“By Steph [Curry] and [Klay] playing the right way, it kind of frees everything up for the rest of the guys out there.”

Before Golden State’s five consecutive wins, the Warriors were 10-14. During the scoring surge from Thompson, Golden State finds itself at 15-14, clawing its way back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

The Warriors desperately needed Thompson to step up, and the sharpshooter delivered in a significant way.

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