Warriors

Klay expects greatness, not satisfied with numbers vs. Grizzlies

Warriors
Klay

The eye test suggests Klay Thompson has exceeded expectations through two games of his return to the Warriors' lineup.

Even looking at the box scores from the Warriors' games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies paints a mostly rosy picture for Thompson, who is averaging 15.5 points in 20 minutes per game so far.

Thompson was a team-high plus-17 in the Warriors' 116-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night at FedEx Forum, showing that he made a huge impact when he was on the floor.

But Thompson scored just 14 points and went 5-of-13 from the field in his second game in 31 months, and despite his positive net rating, he wasn't happy with his offensive output.

"I expect greatness every time I step on the court," Thompson told reporters in Memphis after the game. "I'm not satisfied with 5-for-13. I should have had at least eight makes tonight, but that's basketball. Just happy I can say that and I look forward to getting better every week. I've had years where I don't start out as well as I want but I'll have stretches where I'm on fire. So I trust myself to keep putting in the work and that will happen."

Through two games, Thompson has made 12-of-31 shots from the field (38.7 percent) and 5-of-13 from 3-point range (38.4 percent). Considering he hadn't played a game in two and a half years before Sunday's game against the Cavs, those numbers are respectable.

 

But they aren't good enough for Thompson, a five-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA champion. It's naturally going to take him time to get back into a rhythm and integrate himself back into the offense.

The good news for Thompson and the Warriors is that he already feels comfortable on the court despite the long layoff while he rehabbed a torn ACL and then a torn Achilles.

"It was awesome to be out there," Thompson said. "I felt great physically, conditioning-wise. I can actually look at the box score and wish I played better, wish I hit a couple more open shots that I got, but it was a lot of fun to be out there. Obviously not happy with the result, but from an individual standpoint, I'm just grateful to get the first road game out of the way."

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The Warriors have Wednesday off before they play a tough back-to-back on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday and the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Coach Steve Kerr told reporters before Tuesday's game that Thompson will only play in one of those two games.

With each passing game, Thompson's shot will get better and his minutes will ramp up. It's only a matter of time until he's playing at the level worthy of the greatness he expects from himself.

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