Did Klay Thompson reveal solution to his offensive struggles? – Daily Democrat
After watching Klay Thompson light up the Knicks for 43 points Tuesday night, maybe it’s time for Steve Kerr and his staff to deliver a pointed message to the Warriors star: Don’t dribble the ball.
We were reminded what a devastating weapon Thompson can be when his offensive game just consists of moving, catching the ball and shooting it. He dribbled the ball just four times while making 18 of his 29 shots in the Warriors’ 122-95 win over the Knicks.
That’s not a typo. Four. Dribbles.
Can’t stop watching this Klay Thompson video 🔥pic.twitter.com/5iGZ9mH8Vj
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 9, 2019
Two years ago, Thompson had a record-setting night against the Pacers at Oracle Arena with a minimum of dribbles. He scored a whopping 60 points in just 29 minutes while dribbling just 11 times on his 21 baskets.
Despite a recent hot streak, Thompson has had one of his most trying shooting seasons this year, part of which could be related to him seemingly working harder to create his own shots. He’s averaging a career-high 18.8 shots per game this season, but his field-goal percentage (45 percent) is lower than it’s been in five years. In addition, Thompson is making a career-low 36 percent of his 3-point field goal attempts.
This is not to suggest that Thompson has been abandoning his catch-and-shoot game — 55 percent of his shots are coming off the dribble. Also, his 10.3 shots per game without dribbling is second in the NBA to Kevin Love’s 10.5 no-dribble shots this year.
Plus, Thompson is still shooting the second-most 3-pointers per game (6.2) without a dribble in the NBA this season. The league leader in most long-distance shots without putting the ball on the floor? None other than Steph Curry at 6.8.
For comparison’s sake, we have James Harden, the antithesis of the no-dribble offense. The Rockets star and reigning MVP has averaged nearly seven 3-point shots per game after dribbling the ball seven or more times, according to a Wall Street Journal story.
Harden has attempted 247 3-pointers while dribbling seven or more times this season, which is already more such shots than any NBA team has tried in the past six seasons.
Long live Klay’s catch-and-shoot game.