After some starling postseason shooting performances, many a fan were seen jumping onto the Klay Thompson bandwagon. After all, the second year shooting guard out of Washington State averaged 16.6 points per game and made 211 threes while shoot 40.1% from that distance throughout the regular season so his playoff shooting should not have come as much of a surprise.
While Thompson is already among the best catch-and-shoot shooters in the NBA, both from a stand-still position and running off screens, he needs to work to expand his game if he hopes to continue to develop as a pro.
Last season, Thompson shot 84.1% from the free throw line but was not able to get to the charity stripe more than twice a game on average which did not allow him take advantage of his very good free throw percentage. He needs to work on attacking the defense off the dribble and getting to the hoop so that he becomes more of a versatile threat. If he is able to develop this part of his game, the Warriors will be even more difficult to defend.
While Thompson’s minutes increased by almost 11 compared to his rookie season, his per 36 rebounds and assists per game did not improve by much at all. His rebounds increased by 0.2 boards per game and his assists fell from 3.0 in his rookie season to 2.2 last season. Both are categories that Thompson needs to improve upon. With a 6-7, 205 frame, he should be grabbing more rebounds. His own point guard Stephen Curry averages just over four rebounds per game, so there is no excuse for Thompson to be under that mark. When it comes to passing, Thompson doesn’t bring much to the table. He doesn’t distribute the ball very well and doesn’t make passes that lead to buckets for his teammates. If he could improve upon both of these areas of his game, he could become a very dangerous threat to opponents.
Ultimately, Klay Thompson is still a young shooting guard. He has time to develop his game and reach his potential, but because he did not improve upon his rookie season as much as I hoped he would, I hope that he can make a bigger jump between seasons two and three.