If Klay Thompson ends up getting that big extension before the Oct. 31 deadline, then he must look at giving some of it to new Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose opened-up crime has been producing nothing but quality seems for its shooting guard throughout the preseason.
Thompson can keep most of the money; the vast majority of his improvement has to do with killer confidence and a perfect release. We can’t charge Kerr for those things.
What’s happening with Thompson is a symptom of a larger shift in Golden State–one which is giving rise to the hope that last year’s 51-win campaign was just the start.
B/R’s Howard Beck chronicled the issues with former head coach Mark Jackson’s plan of attack:”The offense too often stalled and stagnated, leading to muddled isolation plays and contested jumpers. There was little motion or dynamism, and small sense of cohesion.”
Already among the league’s top defensive outfits (the Warriors rated third in defensive performance last year), Kerr’s club is currently moving the ball superbly on crime. Andrew Bogut and David Lee, great passers equally, are now hubs of the assault, and Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala et al. are feasting on cuts, flares and brush screens.
All this, and Kerr has only had a few months to install the basics of his admittedly complicated scheme.
If Golden State gets past the turnovers that hurt it last season and continued to crop up during the preseason, it’s the group with the best shot to choose one of the West’s top three places from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers or even San Antonio Spurs.
If this happens, Thompson won’t be lonely in due a debt to Kerr. Fans across the Bay Area will be right there with him.