The Golden State Warriors have been on an absolute tear since the playoffs last season. One piece was missing, for the most part, in the Finals against the Cavaliers. Klay Thompson went from scorching the net in games one and two, to completely disappearing from the scene. If he does that this time around, the Cavs are going to take advantage with a healthy squad.
Over all six games in the 2015 Finals, Thompson was unable to shoot better than 33% from deep, and shot below 40% from the floor in four of those games. Memes were abundant, and Twitter jokes were spreading like wildfire as everyone watched Thompson just depressingly watch some big moments from the bench. He wasn’t producing on offense and everyone was ready to say that he should not be considered a top shooting guard in the league. The Splash Bros essentially turned into an only child named Splash.
Hold on just one minute, hit that fast forward button.
Klay Thompson is now averaging 26.2 points per game in these playoffs compared to 18.6 in the 2015 Playoffs. He’s been shooting at a ridiculous clip of 45% from three, and when Curry has been out, Thompson has delivered to get his team over the hump. We’ve watched him put up ridiculous numbers this season along with Curry and the Splash Bros were revived after losing half of the duo the year prior. Thompson put up his own historic numbers right behind the MVP.
So, here we are entering the NBA Finals rematch that everyone was hoping for. The Cavs are healthy, the Warriors are healthy, and there are no more excuses for either team if they lose. Thompson is going to be playing a vital role, like he always does. He’s usually the second option on offense right after Curry, and if he disappears again, the trio of LeBron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love are all ready to pounce on the opportunity. An injured Cavs squad wasn’t equipped last year to take advantage of the opportunity they had with Thompson shooting himself out of games. A completely different story is on hand this time. These Cavs have been lighting up the net close to the same rate as the Warriors this postseason. They have an even hungrier team who is out for revenge, and the pressure is on the Warriors to finish off the historic season that they strung together.
Klay Thompson could very well be the deciding factor in this series. If he’s on, he could destroy the Cavs with his sniping abilities from the arc. If he’s off like last year, the Cavs are going to exploit every vulnerability that arises because of it.