After the Warriors loss to the Suns earlier this week when Klay got tossed after a 1-8 (0-5) performance, Chuck had this to say about what type of player Klay now is
The thing is, Chuck wasn't completely wrong. I do disagree that Klay didn't really play a role in winning that ring. He was pretty damn good in the Game 4 win, and then in Game 5 back at home dropped 21 on 50/45% splits with 5 3PM to help the Warriors regain control of the series. The way he defended in the back half of those Finals made a legitimate impact. Yes, it's also true that Steph and Wiggins were huge factors as well, but I don't think Chuck is giving Klay his proper due with that. I mean it's not like those performances didn't happen, so I found that a little weird.
It's also true that the Warriors core is getting older. But I can't help but think basically putting the "cooked" label on Klay at this point of the season is very stupid. Given the injuries he had and the time it took to get back, of course he's not going to look like 25 year old Klay. That seems pretty obvious right? It doesn't mean he stinks, it just means things will probably take a little more time.
After the Warriors win last night over the Heat, the team that never forgets anything that's ever said about them in the media took their turn to respond
Hard to argue against either of these statements, especially Klay. I think there's a balance with this stuff. It's perfectly fine to talk about areas of Klay's game he may be struggling with at the moment, but you can't just ignore all the context around it. Not everyone is Kevin Durant who can tear his achilles, come back, and immediately look like Prime KD. That's the exception, not the rule.
To Klay's credit, he did average 20/4/3 on 42/38% splits with 3.6 3PM in his 32 games played last season. Those are basically his career averages. In the playoffs, it was the same 19/3/4 on 42/38% splits with 3.5 3PM. Sure he may be a step slow defensively at times, but it's not like there was some sort of drastic dropoff.
Through 5 games this year, he's struggling as he works through his minutes restriction. Klay is down to 12/2.4/2.4 on 34/31% splits which is certainly not great, but it's also literally only been 5 games. He looked much more like the same old Klay last night
so I do think this talk about the demise of Klay Thompson is a little premature. Given what he went through and how he worked to get back I don't really understand the rush to talk like Klay is washed. Especially when we just saw him help the team win a title.
There's a difference between "not being the same guy" and not being good. A healthy Klay Thompson is still one hell of a basketball player. You don't build his resume by accident. Is Klay maybe being a little sensitive about this? Sure! But wouldn't you be if you had to endure everything Klay has gone through these last 2-3 years? We know he's a prideful guy, we know those are two horrific injuries that often times end careers. It doesn't shock me that Klay is maybe a little on edge about all this, so I get his response.
Chuck is right that Klay probably won't make an All NBA Defensive team or anything like that again like he did in his prime. But maybe we should wait a little longer than 10 days of the NBA season before you officially write off an all time great shooter. That might be a wild idea to some, but I've seen enough Warriors basketball to know that Klay is going to be just fine.