Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.
Klay Thompson did not have a great shooting night in the Warriors' Game 1 win over the Clippers.
In the first half, he barely got any opportunities to score.
Klay Thompson scored 2 points in the 1st half (only took 2 shots) so the Warriors let him take the technical free throw before the 3rd quarter started...— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 14, 2019
He tried to get himself going in the third quarter, but forced some tough shots and went 1-for-7 from the field. He did go 3-for-5 in the fourth quarter, however.
So the five-time All-Star didn't have a very big impact on Saturday night, right? Wrong. Very wrong.
Klay was fantastic on the defensive end and deserves the recognition for his work on that end of the floor.
Here he is setting the tone less than two minutes into the game:
This prompted television analyst Jeff Van Gundy to say: "If he doesn't make All-Defense this year, it'll be a crime."
As you are probably aware, Klay has never been named to an All-Defensive team.
A couple minutes later, he denied Landry Shamet at the rim:
Midway through the second quarter, Klay held his ground on the block against the bigger JaMychal Green, who was called for traveling:
Early in the third quarter, Clippers rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander thought he was going to make a layup but Klay had other ideas:
According to NBA.com tracking data, the Clippers went 3-for-10 from the field when Klay contested the shot.
The one guy the two-time All-NBA selection wasn't able to slow down was Lou Williams, who racked up 25 points and nine assists.
But in Klay's defense (no pun intended), a lot of Williams' production came out of high ball screen situations where there isn't a lot he can do. It's up to the Warriors' big man to switch and keep Williams in front.
Klay is going to have some games in which he is the star on the offensive end. But throughout the rest of the playoffs, keep a close eye on how he greatly affects the game without scoring.