Klay adamant his shooting slump has nothing to do with Durant

Klay adamant his shooting slump has nothing to do with Durant

OAKLAND – Klay Thompson neither ran nor hid from his struggles this season, which were on particularly graphic display last Friday in Los Angeles, where the Warriors were obliterated by the Lakers.

“I’m pretty sure it was the worst game I’ve ever played against the Lakers,” Thompson told CSNBayArea.com after shootaround Monday, hours before tipoff against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“But I know it’s going to get better starting with tonight.”

Thompson’s history suggests it will get much better. The two-time All-Star was indeed downright awful against the Lakers, the team he grew up admiring and, once in the NBA, generally roasted – particularly when in Los Angeles.

That was not the case Friday, when Thompson’s 4-of-18 shooting and languid defense stood out even among a woeful team performance. When his shot is not falling, Thompson typically makes amends on the defensive end. Not so on Friday.

“He’s obviously in a little bit of a funk,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It can’t affect his defense. It can’t affect his rebounding. And I thought it did the other night.”

Still, the most startling aspect through the first six games for Thompson is his errant shooting. Never has he shot so many bricks and airballs in such a short period of time. He’s shooting 38.4 percent from the field; his career percentage is 45.0. He’s shooting 19.6 percent from beyond the arc; his career percentage is 42.0.

“I’ve been in this league too long to let a bad shooting spell affect my game,” Thompson said. “Obviously at times, it’s frustrating. But you just grind through it. All it takes is a few good makes and you’re right back. I still have plenty of time to figure it out. But I’m going to figure it out.”

Thanks largely to the production of newly acquired star Kevin Durant – averaging 30.0 points per game on 59.3 percent shooting – Thompson’s slump hasn’t been particularly painful in the overall scheme of things. He shot poorly as the Warriors were winning four in a row prior to losing at LA.

But after an impressive preseason and with so much global attention on the Warriors, Thompson’s misses have become a talking point – as has his reaction to them. Notoriously hard on himself, he’s finding it difficult to conceal his frustration.

“I realize everyone is human,” he said. “Nothing is going to come easy. I can be hard on myself, but that’s why I developed into the player I am.”

And, please, don’t even insinuate that Durant’s arrival is a factor.

“It has nothing to do with Kevin,” Thompson said, pointing out that he had a slow start last season, when he exceeded 20 points only three times in the first five weeks and didn’t have a 30-point game until Dec. 8.

Thompson said he that will find his stroke by coming into the facility at night and putting up extra shots. And by watching clips of the strong games he has had against the next opponent, in this instance New Orleans.

While Kerr has taken note – how could he not? – the coach also remains staunchly confident in Thompson.

“Like all shooters, he’s had plenty of stretches in his career and over four or five games where shots just didn’t go in,” Kerr said. “He started out last year pretty poorly. It took him about 20 games to get going.

“So a slow start is not anything dramatic for Klay. Maybe it’s a little surprising because he had a brilliant preseason. He’s gotten himself in a little bit of a rut. He’ll get himself out of it. I’m not concerned about that.”

Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”