Klay Thompson can’t wake up.
Mired in a shooting slump that has poisoned every other aspect of his game, the Golden State Warriors’ second-year guard has turned what was sure to be a terrific 2012-13 campaign into a nightmare. Instead of breaking out, he’s broken down.
Thompson’s path to stardom seemed assured after his terrific second half last season.
Without any other offensive options, Thompson took the team over down the stretch. Obviously, the Warriors didn’t win during that period, but it wasn’t because of Thompson, who averaged 18.1 points, 3.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds on 44 percent shooting as a starter.
He followed that up with an invite to the USA Select Team, where he impressed the big boys on Team USA with his work ethic and polish. Then, of course, he dominated the Las Vegas Summer League so thoroughly that the Warriors’ coaching staff shut him down after a pair of “I’m-too-good-to-be-here” games.
All of that makes Thompson’s sputtering start even harder to understand.
We’ve got the option of dismissing Thompson’s struggles as symptoms of a typical second-year swoon. But calling this a sophomore slump might be an oversimplification. That label is usually reserved for players that the league simply “figures out” over the offseason. With Thompson, that’s definitely not the case. It’s not like opponents are simply taking away the things Klay likes to do.
There’s more going on here; the problem seems more profound. But the situation isn’t hopeless.
Let’s examine five critical adjustments Klay Thompson must make to shake his sophomore slump.
*Stats are accurate through games played Nov. 18