Warriors Outsiders Q&A: Klay Thompson Is Streaky, But He's Not Broken

On every Warriors Outsiders show, we do a simulcast on Facebook Live. Here are some questions and comments that we didn't get to address from the last couple shows.

But first, this:

Klay Thompson is not broken. Yeah, that sounds ridiculous that it even needs to be said, but you'd be surprised by the hot takes that are floating around.

In our last Warriors Outsiders Q&A, I broke down how Klay is playing at a high level in all other facets of his game beyond 3-point shooting. To further that point, Klay had yet another game with three steals against the Trail Blazers on Thursday night, giving him five games of three steals or more this season (of 36 games played). Last season, he had just two such games in 73 played.

More importantly, there is an assumption that Klay has been off all season from deep (sans the record-breaking Chicago game, of course). But that just isn't true. In fact, Klay has had a roller-coaster of a season when it comes to 3-point shooting. Let's break it down:

To start the season, through Klay's first seven games, he shot 14 percent from deep, making just five of his 36 attempts. Everyone assumed the slump was an aberration -- perhaps it was Klay's new beard just being bad luck.

And then the Chicago game happened. Klay went off for 14 threes on 24 attempts (both NBA records) in just three quarters of play. The slump was over, and now the real Klay was back.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, that's not how it played out, because in games nine through 18, Klay made 32.5 percent of his threes -- a far cry from the horrible start to the season but still way below his standards. 

Something clicked, however, in the next 10 games. Klay resembled his old self, making 35 of 82 attempts for a career-normal 43 percent from deep. This 10-game sample size gave hope that Klay officially had busted out of his down season.
Of course, since then, games 29 through the present 36, Klay has fallen back on hard times. He has made just 10 of his 48 attempts for a poor 20.8 percent, sounding the alarms for a fan base that again is becoming concerned.

So, here is why I'm not worried (yet): If you include the Chicago game, Klay shot very well from deep over 11 games, which is practically one-third of the season. Shooting 46 percent from 3-point land over one-third of a season should comfort fans to know that while Klay might be wildly inconsistent so far this season, he isn't broken.

Klay's first slump this season lasted seven games, his mediocre-shooting streak went 10, and his current rut now is at eight. If he follows that similar pattern, that means he's due to bust out again, VERY soon.

Now, to your questions and comments ...

Yang Tom Smith: "I take it back. It wasn't DayDay beaning Klay summed up the game. It was Ws fans cheering a Klay 3 like he was a third stringer in garbage time. That summed up the game."

I'd definitely go with the pass to the face to sum up the game against the Blazers. It was one of the weirdest games I can remember. But I don't blame the fans, or the Warriors players for that matter, for being so excited for Klay when he nailed that and-1 3-pointer. Everyone knows how frustrated he is.

The Warriors had some fun with Klay for making a big shot, and the crowd reacted with them. Bringing a little levity to an abnormally frustrating rut doesn't hurt. But you're right that it's definitely odd it has come to this.

Greg Lentz: " I'm pretty sure I've never seen a guy throw it in the basket from the sideline until tonight. Curry just can't force himself to miss."

Steph making that shot on what should have been the last play of regulation against the Blazers has to be one of the more "Steph being Steph" moments I can think of. The guy is so skilled that when asked to inbound the ball from over 30 feet away from the hoop and put a pass right next to the rim for a tip-in, he responds by making the pass a little too perfect, and it swishes through the net.

Steph being Steph. 

PJ Marcelino: "That loss was so bitter we decided to go to Mitchell's ice cream at this time to get that bitter taste off of our mouths"

I love some good ol' Mitchell's ice cream. I personally would have preferred ice cream after that horrible Lakers Christmas Day game.The Blazers game deserved a cocktail because it was so weird that it was drunk. 

Julaine Ferry: "I do think they need to fill the 15th spot. With something."

The Warriors want to keep that spot open for the right big man. How do I know this? Well because they tried to sign Tyson Chandler to it, and almost got him.

If they find a big man they want, they won't hesitate to give him that spot.

Reggie Mallorca: "Always blame the Outsiders."

Yup, I agree. But Drew mostly.

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