Klay Thompson is warming up. He is showing signs he is almost back to being the influencer the Warriors need.
He’s not there yet. Trouble is, the Rangers can’t wait for him anymore.
The Warriors’ defeat to Heat in Miami on Tuesday was the perfect round-up of the two Klay Thompsons now fighting for supremacy.
We saw a struggling, out of sync Thompson – Washed Klay – in Miami.
This player is one step slow in defense. He failed to finish two against one. Made two critical 3-point kicks during the crisis.
It’s a Thompson we’ve seen all too often since the start of the season – a Thompson who looks like he hasn’t been in a fight all summer because, well, he wasn’t. Thompson, who missed two and a half seasons with catastrophic lower body injuries.
But while this Thompson was in Miami on Tuesday, we saw more of the other Thompson against the Heat as well.
We’ve seen a few episodes of The Old Klay.
That Thompson is as much a two-way influencer as he is in the league. He is a dead eye shooter and a blockade defender whose game is flashless at all. That Thompson is one of the greatest players in NBA history, and while it’s not that obvious, as the season progresses, the Warriors are creeping into the games more and more.
The Warriors’ goal this season is to repeat themselves as champions. This means playing until mid-June. This is so far, guys.
But Thompson’s understandable advances leave no doubt that he will be a consistent, influential player until the playoffs, if not until the calendar jumps to 2023.
The problem is that the Warriors could use this player right now, in the first week of November.
3-5 in a season there is no reason for Warriors to panic. It’s just too early, and the Rangers haven’t done anything really disqualifying yet.
But Thompson’s struggles during the first few weeks of the season showed just how difficult it is to implement the Warriors’ two-timeline philosophy – especially for a team that has serious expectations on its shoulders.
Warriors want to believe that growth and victory can occur simultaneously. They claim last season’s championship proved it could.
The two timelines are about winning now and winning. It’s an all-or-nothing assumption.
And now the Warriors are not winning.
Please note that only one player under the age of 22 participated in the NBA Dubs Finals rotation last season: Jordan Poole. And after an average of 30 minutes per game in the previous regular season, Poole’s off-season play was poor in the playoffs. He had great games and games in which he was on the bench.
All of this was forgotten as the Warriors won the title and Poole received a (well deserved) 9-digit contract extension.
Last season, just over 15 percent of all minutes went to Poole and young colleagues Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuming. The last two saw a good chunk of garbage time and did not play significant minutes in the NBA Finals.
This season, with Poole successfully completing the young ranks, the Warriors are still giving about 15 percent of their total minutes to Moody, Kuminga and James Wiseman.
Warriors’ development push only works when established players create the space for that growth. Dubs need some time to garbage for kids.
Because as long as Thompson stays in acceleration mode, the Warriors will play with tight margins.
They’ve been on the wrong side of the margins lately, losing games with accumulated mishaps throughout the competition, like on Tuesday in Miami.
The starting five Warriors are still the best in the NBA, but they can reach even higher levels with the full Klay Thompson.
And when that happens, the Warriors will be free to experiment with young players, large squads, and periods of play in the second unit where no defense is played.
The team’s best players – seven or eight Warriors coaches Steve Kerr knows he can trust when it’s play-off time – playing as best they can takes the pressure off the young players to contribute to victory. It gives young players (and Kerr) a de-stressed environment to make the mistakes necessary for their development.
Wiseman can’t keep anything on the rim and keeps poking the ball under the basket? All right. The entrees will make up for it. Wiseman can get the gear he needs and be a better player in the weeks, months and years to come. Who knows – he can be trusted by Kerr when he has enough practice in the game after the season.
Or not. But at least the Warriors will give him time to gamble to find out if it’s one way or another.
Need to find an often abandoned Kuming to see if it’s more of a wing or a big one? It’s easier to do this when you have a 15-point advantage or a brief fourth quarter.
It’s best to have total control of the game if you want to play Patrick Baldwin Jr. or Ryan Rollins, or if you want to know if Moody could be a two-way hub in the future.
Right now, the Warriors are playing a different kind of two-way fighter: Ty Jerome – who is on a two-way contract between the Warriors and their G-League squad in Santa Cruz – is starting another major att*ck on the Warriors’ backcourt. Jordan Poole with the second unit. This is not a development game, it is a win-win effort.
Jerome can put Warriors in his sets, he doesn’t flip the ball, and when it’s open, he fires it into a solid magazine. There is no developmental fun there – Jerome plays to make the Warriors tread on the water.
Kerr feels he has to play Jerome because players on Rookie Contracts – with the possible exception of Moody – aren’t quite rotating right now. At least not for the championship contender.
And with them in the mix, and some of the established players are struggling, Warriors are lucky if they have five players on the dance floor in winning form at any given time.
This brings us back to Thompson, though Poole and Draymond Green can also be said.
When Steph Curry is on the court this season, the Warriors are losing 4 points for every 100 possession of the ball.
When he’s off the floor, the Warriors lose by 20 points out of 100 items.
Warriors need to correct one of these numbers to start collecting their winnings.
It’s probably easier to do the former once Thompson finds his game and budding Warriors find defensive intensity and ultimately identity.
The West is deep and challenging, and it’s been almost 30 years since a team that didn’t have a home advantage in the first round (a top-four finish) won the title. The Dubs still have time to repair the ship, but they can’t linger long. Losses in November count as well as losses in March and April, and no one can expect the top players to be in full health throughout the campaign.
So the more Warriors lose winning matches because the margins are too small thanks to the second unit’s minutes when Curry is not on the court, the more likely it is that Kerr will become and his coaching staff will have to spend those minutes of development on continuing their efforts. to win matches.
#Klay #Thompsons #struggles #show #problem #Warriors #timelines