Former NBA Guard, Who Once Torched Michael Jordan, Has a Brutal Celtics Reality Check for Klay Thompson

Published 06/11/2022, 1:30 AM EDT
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, left, is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)AP

The NBA Finals are the biggest stage of the entire season. Not all players can live up to the challenge of performing under the lights. The Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson has been a regular face in the Finals and has done his part in his previous appearances. However, this time the clock has ticked in the wrong direction.

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The splash brother has struggled to make his shots and play the second man to Stephen Curry. Generally not bothered by crowds, Klay went on a full onslaught against the Boston Celtics crowd in Game 3. But a former NBA guard feels Klay is just out of rhythm.

Thompson played in his last NBA Finals back in 2019. Notably, an injury in those Finals kept Klay out for two whole seasons. However, since then, Thompson has come back with confidence and hunger to get his place back.

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And he was on pace to do so until the NBA Finals hit this season. The Celtics‘ defense has left him no room to shine as he has shot below par in this series. Moreover, his impact on the defense isn’t the same either.

Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson is seen on the bench before the start of the second half during game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on Monday, June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

The pressure really got to him in Game 3 when he did not hold back against the road crowd. However, former NBA player Rex Chapman believes Klay is going through a nightmare phase.

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Klay Thompson affected by time off the floor?

There aren’t many players in the NBA who have a shot as pure as Klay Thompson. The Warriors guard has been on the money for the most part of his career. Making a living off showing up in the big moments, Klay has almost never failed to deliver.

However, being away from the big stage for too long seems to be getting the best of the former All-Star. Speaking on his outburst over the crowd in Game 3, Chapman believes Klay is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure he has on him.

He said: “You’ve never heard Klay say anything like what he said last night about the fans. Because he’s always had every bit of confidence, and confidence is such a beautiful thing when you have it and when you don’t. Klay knows what kind of player he is and the player he will probably be in the fall.”

Chapman continued saying, “You’ve never seen him overwhelmed defensively by anyone. Not Kawhi, not anyone. Klay is one of the best two-way defenders ever. Occasionally, he’ll get overwhelmed by Jayson Tatum right now or Jaylen Brown with their athleticism and you’ve never seen that happen. So he is going through something that is sort of nightmarish as an athlete.”

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Klay has had a rough time in the 2022 NBA Finals so far. He is averaging just 17.3 points per game while shooting 35% from the field for the Warriors. In addition, his +/- stands at -2.5, which as a two-way defender isn’t a sight Klay is used to. However, Klay assumed his responsibility without any complaints despite being rusty.

He came right in as the second option behind Curry and hasn’t looked back. Thomspon isn’t one to not admit his failures, but sometimes athletes have moments of outburst.

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However, through the course of the season, one thing has come clear. You can never count Klay Thompson out. Do you think Klay will have a big game in these NBA Finals? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

1432 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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