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Will Klay Thompson Return To Form This Coming Season?

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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 

It has been a very rough three years for Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson.

Not only did the team lose the 2019 NBA championship to the Toronto Raptors, but it also lost Thompson to an ACL injury during the series.

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He missed all of the following season while rehabbing, only to tear his Achilles just prior to the 2020-21 campaign, forcing him to miss all of that season as well.

Thompson finally returned to game action on January 9, and for a while, he was hit-and-miss as far as his effectiveness.

But he stepped things up in the playoffs, playing a key role in the Warriors winning their fourth championship in the past eight seasons.

If they are to make it five rings in nine years and take their dynasty to a rarefied level, Thompson will have to revert to the Thompson of old.

How realistic is that?

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A Look At Thompson’s 2021-22 Season

Everyone knew that for a while, Thompson would be rusty as he not only looked to regain his lower-body strength and fitness, but also his game rhythm.

It took him seven games to shoot at least 50 percent for an entire contest and 14 games for him to have his first 30-plus-point outing.

Along the way, he had some clunkers, such as his 3-of-11 outing versus the Milwaukee Bucks on January 13 and and a 3-of-13 night in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in March.

Thompson showed signs of bouncing back in February when he shot 44.8 percent overall and 45.6 percent from 3-point range, but those numbers fell to 40.2 percent and 34.4 percent, respectively, in March.

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But then he finished the season with a bang.

In his final six contests of the schedule, Thompson averaged 30.8 points on 48.0 percent shooting from the field and 45.0 percent from downtown.

Although he was somewhat inconsistent early in the playoffs, he started to really get going by scoring 30 points and going 8-of-14 from deep in Golden State’s Game 6 clincher over the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round.

Then in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Thompson dropped 32 points while shooting 8-of-16 from downtown as his team knocked the Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs.

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With the NBA Finals versus the Boston Celtics tied at two games apiece, he had 21 points while making 5-of-11 from beyond the arc in the Warriors’ 104-94 Game 5 victory.

For the postseason, he shot 42.9 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from 3-point land, which wasn’t too far off his career playoffs percentages.

 

This Offseason Will Be Key

Thompson is enjoying the benefit of being able to fully focus on training and conditioning this summer, rather than rehab and recovery.

The result should be an athlete who is better conditioned to start the season and one who won’t have to spend a good portion of the schedule getting up to speed and getting his sea legs back.

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In addition, Stephen Curry and company won’t have to take their time rebuilding chemistry with Thompson and getting used to playing with him again.

On the East Coast, Kevin Durant has looked like the same player, especially offensively, following his own Achilles injury, and he is around the same age as Thompson.

A back-to-his-old-self Thompson could very well result in yet another world championship for the Warriors next summer.

The post Will Klay Thompson Return To Form This Coming Season? appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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