Klay Thompson: Efficiency in Motion
Klay Thompson became a man on a mission when the calendar flipped to 2019: after shooting just 34 percent from three-point range through December, the Splash Brother averaged 22 points per game on 45 percent from beyond the arc the final four months of the regular season.
In January alone, Thompson recorded two 40-point performances, the first of which came against the visiting New York Knicks on January 8th where he finished with 43 points on 7-of-16 from deep. Just six games later, he came back with a 44-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 21st, and in Klay-like fashion, set a new NBA record for most 3-pointers in a row to start a game when he went 10-10 from beyond the arc. High-scoring games like these are always nice, but a closer look at his numbers reveals just how productive the eight-year veteran was throughout the 2018-19 campaign.
Thompson dribbled the ball eight times on his 17 field goals against the Lakers. He missed fewer shots than he dribbled! While playing the Knicks, he only had to dribble the ball four (yes, just FOUR) times the whole game. On top of that, he never went to the free throw line in either game. The Warriors’ ability to screen off the ball, move, and pass simply let Klay be Klay.
We saw this remarkable level of efficiency earlier this season when Golden State visited the Chicago Bulls in October as well. Thompson went off in historic fashion, breaking Stephen Curry’s record for 14 treys in an NBA game en route to a 52-point performance. All of that was done in just 27 minutes on the floor. That’s 1.92 points per minute. Oh, and he dribbled only nine times on his scoring plays.
Or how about December 2016 when the Warriors hosted the Indiana Pacers? If you don’t remember that one, here’s a refresher: 60 points in 29 minutes. In other words, that was 2.06 points per minute! How many times did he dribble? Just 11 bounces total; and here’s the kicker, he held the ball for a total of 90 seconds, or 1.73 seconds per touch.
Add these accomplishments to his January 2015 performance against the Sacramento Kings where he set NBA records in points in a quarter (37), 3-pointers in a quarter (nine), and tied the record for field goals made with 13. Not bad in just 12 minutes!
He doesn’t have to move around or dribble much to make his shot, but you could still say he is efficiency in motion. Klay Thompson: record breaker, All-Star, NBA Champion, and a tendency to make NBA history with explosive performances.
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