The question isn’t “can Klay Thompson shoot?” The guy came into the league a gunner and hit 41.4 percent from three as a rookie.
But in a larger role this season — starting, more minutes, more touches — he can’t find his touch. He’s shooting just 33.3 percent from three (and averaging seven shots from downtown a game). He is 1-of-15 this season between three and 15 feet (via Hoopdata). In the Warriors last six games Thompson has shot just 26-for-89 (that’s 29.2 percent for those of you scoring at home).
It’s a slump, and Thompson has a plan to get out of it, he told the Contra Costa Times.
“Keep shooting,” he said. “It’s all mental. You can’t let it get to you. These first 11 games, I haven’t been making shots, but I’m all right. I’ll be fine.”
That’s what a shooter should say.
But coach Mark Jackson should have other considerations. Matt Steinmetz at CSNBayArea.com suggests it might be time to turn Thompson into a sixth man.
The move might raise some eyebrows because the Warriors have made no secret they believe Thompson is the shooting guard of the future.
But Thompson is mired in an awful shooting slump (some could argue season-long), and worse, he has made some very unsound plays late in games recently.
The question has to be weighed with how much more Jackson would get out of bench. Technically Kent Bazemore is the backup two. Although in practice you would start Richard Jefferson instead (well, when healthy, Jefferson was out Monday night). This is where the season ending injury to Brandon Rush really hurts.
You don’t want to hurt Thompson’s confidence long term, but it’s about winning games. The Warriors are 6-5 in a deep Western Conference where they do not have a lot of margin for error. So Thompson has to stop making them or see his minutes reduced.