Klay Thompson is 10-of-33 shooting in these Finals. Is he just missing shots or are the Celtics defending him well? https://t.co/8Z8VWqmOif— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 7, 2022
Through two games, Thompson has scored 26 points on 10-33 shooting from the field and 4-15 from three-point range. During Tuesday’s media availability, Thompson said he plans on watching his “Game 6 Klay” highlights to help him break out of this slump. When Brown was asked why the Celtics have been able to guard Thompson at such a high level he elected to say Boston isn’t “doing a good enough job on Klay Thompson.”
“He’s just missing shots,” Brown said per The Athletic. “That player, he can get it going at any moment. We’re aware of that. We trying to prepare ourselves to make sure that doesn’t happen. But we’ve got to do a better job, to be honest.”
When asked about Thompson’s shooting struggles, Coach Steve Kerr said he thought Thompson was “pressing” as the game progressed, causing Thompson’s “mini-slump, or whatever you want to call it,” to worsen. Throughout his career, Thompson has hunted for points when his shot isn’t falling early, resulting in Thompson’s shot quality to go down.
“I probably seemed a little rushed,” Thompson admitted. “I wasn’t underneath my shot. This is nothing I’m immune to. I’ve been through shooting slumps before. The best part is, it’s how you respond. Come Game 3; I’ll probably not do much differently rather than just play with great pace and pump great shots. When I tend to do that, I tend to have a big night.”
When Thompson is on, he’s ON. He eviscerated the Thunder in Game 6 of the 2016 WCF. He hit a clutch dagger to eliminate the Rockets in 2019. He knocked down two big triples in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals in Toronto to shift the series back to Oakland, but suffered a torn ACL the next time out in Toronto’s title-clinching win in Game 6.
Those microwave performances have made Thompson an League legend. But when you shine so bright with games like that, you’re also prone to tough shooting nights. Thompson shot 5-15 and 6-16 from the field during Games 3 and 4 losses in 2019. With a legacy like that, Thompson is well aware that scoring eruptions are the key to the Warriors winning their fourth title since 2015. Golden State knows it too.
If Thompson, Kerr, and the Warriors can take any solace, the Finals tape mostly agrees with Browns’ sentiment. Boston can improve on taking away Thompson’s clean catch-and-shot opportunities. In order to win Wednesday’s Game 3, Boston will look to make a better effort to limit Thompson’s open looks and continue to hope that Thompson misses early and often.