If Klay Thompson ends up getting that significant extension prior to the Oct. 31 deadline, he must look at giving a portion of it to fresh Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose opened-up offense has been generating only quality looks for its shooting guard during the preseason.
Thompson can keep the majority of the cash; the huge majority of his advancement has to do with killer confidence and a perfect release. We can’t credit Kerr for those things.
What is happening with Thompson is a symptom of a bigger shift in Golden State–one that is giving rise to the hope that last year’s 51-win campaign was only the start.
B/R’s Howard Beck chronicled the difficulties with former head coach Mark Jackson’s strategy of attack:”The offense too often stalled and stagnated, leading to muddled isolation plays and contested jumpers. There was little movement or dynamism, and little sense of cohesion.”
Already one of the league’s top defensive outfits (the Warriors ranked third in defensive efficiency last year), Kerr’s club is shifting the ball beautifully on crime. Andrew Bogut and David Lee, fantastic passers equally, are currently hubs of this attack, and Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala et al. are feasting on cuts, flares and brush screens.
All this, and Kerr has just had a couple of months to install the fundamentals of his admittedly complicated plot.
If Golden State gets beyond the turnovers that hurt it last season and proceeded to crop up during the preseason, it is the group with the best opportunity to choose among the West’s top three spots from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers or San Antonio Spurs.
If that occurs, Thompson won’t be alone in owing a debt to Kerr. Fans across the Bay Area will be right there with him.