If Klay Thompson ends up getting that big 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 producing nothing but quality looks for the shooting guard during the preseason.
Thompson can keep the majority of the money; the huge majority of his advancement has to do with killer confidence and a perfect launch. We can’t charge Kerr for all those things.
What’s happening with Thompson is a symptom of a bigger change in Golden State–one which is giving rise to the expectation that last year’s 51-win campaign was only the beginning.
B/R’s Howard Beck chronicled the issues with former head coach Mark Jackson’s strategy of attack:”The crime too frequently stalled and stagnated, leading to muddled isolation plays and contested jumpers. There was little movement or dynamism, and little awareness of cohesion.”
Already one of the league’s best defensive outfits (the Warriors rated third in defensive efficiency last year),” Kerr’s club is currently moving the ball superbly on offense. Andrew Bogut and David Lee, great passers both, are now 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 few months to set up the basics of his admittedly complicated plot.
If Golden State gets beyond the turnovers that hurt it last year and continued to crop up during the preseason, it is the team with the best opportunity to take among the West’s best three places from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers or even San Antonio Spurs.
If this occurs, Thompson won’t be alone in owing a debt to Kerr. Fans across the Bay Area will be right there with him.