year ago, people were talking about Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson as one of the steals of the 2011 draft. The lanky guard with a sweet shooting stroke was drawing praise as a potential superstar, a guy who could challenge Stephen Curry as the best three-point shooter in the league. He followed up a promising rookie season with a strong summer league ... but then the regular season started.
And that's where things got iffy.
Klay has gotten flack for his boneheaded turnovers. His shooting has been disappointing, as he's seen his TS% fall from .545 to .536 (before Sunday's game) during a time in his career when we'd expect to see him improving. He's also displayed a disturbing tendency to commit bone-headed errors late in games, which have contributed to the team's difficulty closing out leads.
But Klay has improved many facets of his game, and the big knock against him, his disappointing offense, has a rather clear and obvious cause.
Defensively, Klay is obviously much improved. He's figured out how to use his length to bothered guards on the perimeter, and to challenge shots when players get past him. He frequently draws the tough assignment, and often delivers. His on-ball defense, for example, was a big part of Tony Parkers sub-.500 TS% performance in the Warriors friday overtime victory. His foul rate has also dropped by almost half a foul per 36 minutes, an improvement that's hard to see if you only good at per-game stats.
His rebounding is up, too.
Klay Thompson is better than you think
Golden State Of Mind | Feb 25