Warriors guard Klay Thompson, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, left Oracle Arena with his uniform on. His jeans, his sweater, his shoes, all left behind in his locker. Not even a week after missing the potential game-winning shot at Sacramento, Thompson has been dealt another cruel lesson by the NBA.
In Saturday’s loss to Denver, Thompson emerged as the goat. He missed a pair of free throws in the final seconds of overtime, and making both would’ve probably sealed the game. To make matters worst, he allowed Denver forward Danilo Gallinari drive right by him for the game-tying WIDE OPEN dunk though the Warriors had a foul to give and all it took was for Thompson to grab him.
Then, in double-overtime, the Warriors were inbounding the ball with 35.9 seconds remaining down 103-101. As the play evolved, the ball wound up in Thompson’s hands. Despite only need a basket to tie the game, despite still having some 15 seconds on the shot clock, despite having missed nine of his previous 14 attempts, Thompson hoisted a 3-pointer. He missed, all but sealing the loss.
MARK JACKSON: “I wish I had an excuse to co-sign that it was his youth. But no. Not at all. I think there’s a part of him that let the missed free throws get to him, or a missed shot. But no, not youth. But he’s going to be fine. And this is not just him. We made mistakes across the board. And we’re going to get better.”
In many ways, Thompson embodies where the Warriors are in their development. Talented and full of promise but don’t yet know how to win. So inexperienced they manage to turn a strength into a weakness. The good things they do obscured by glaring limitations.
No doubt, Saturday’s performance by Thompson — 9 of 26 shooting, 3 turnovers — was devastating. The only question is whether this becomes a benchmark for his development, whether this creates a sense of urgency in him that leads to improvement.
Same goes for the Warriors.
JACKSON: “I understand it’s a process. In order to get there, you’ve got to go through times like this. But I’m not a guy that’s patient with process when it comes to that. There are mistakes that you can’t make. And we made some.”
More on Saturday’s loss …