Through six games, Klay Thompson is shooting 38% from the field and a dismal 20% from three point range. His points per game average is down, and so are his free throw attempts. Many analysts predicted that Thompson would be the one Warrior to feel the affects of the Kevin Durant signing and he certainly has so far.
However, even with all these atrocious stats piling up, I don't think it's time to panic, and neither does Thompson.
Thompson told ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss that he's just "not making shots. I'm not going to panic, playing like crap. It's November so I'm not going to panic. I had a bad start last year, too. That's all I've got for you."
Thompson certainly isn't his usual stud-shooting self and people have the right to worry. But at the same time, nothing has really changed for the guy who once scored 37 points in one-quarter. Thompson is third on the team in FGA, which makes sense because of KD, but he's still putting up 16 shots per night, which is one more than his career average. And luckily, the majority of his missed shots are when there's no one around him.
According to this chart, the shots Thompson has taken the most this season are when he's either open (4-6 feet of space) or when he's wide open (6+ feet of space). It's not like he's clanking contested threes off the rim over and over, he's missing shots that he can hit in his sleep. This problem is easily fixable for a guy who came out of the womb with a basketball under his arm.
It just makes sense that the majority of Thompson's shots this year are when he's wide open. Durant is shooting 60% from the field (!!!) and is averaging 30 points per game, his best numbers since his MVP season of 2013-14. Defenses have to pick between guarding the 2014 MVP, the reigning back to back MVP in Steph Curry, or the reigning three-point contest winner in Thompson. Naturally, you would want to stop KD and Curry, so Thompson has been able to get wide open shots. Unfortunately, he has just been off, something he can't even explain.
One other thing to remember: there are seven new guys on the roster this year. Chemistry doesn't happen overnight. Thompson doesn't have Andrew Bogut making passes to him from the low or high post anymore, he's got Zaza Pachulia and David West. Both are smart and skilled basketball players but they're still getting used to Steve Kerr's pass happy and cut happy offense, an offense that is fun to watch but complicated to implement and run efficiently.
When his career is over, Klay Thompson will go down has one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, right up there with Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, and some guy named Steph Curry. Thompson has struggled so far to start the 2017 season but like he told Strauss, it's only November, it's still very early in the season. According to CBSSports.com, Thompson shot 25% from three through the first three games of last year. By the end of November, his percentage from downtown had upped to 43%.
Although he's now the third option on the team behind KD and Curry, Thompson's shooting woes can be fixed by the one thing he's been trained to do: shoot.