Cruise Control Klay

Thompson’s international play has left a lot to be desired. (Source/Getty Images 2016)

To put it simply, Klay Thompson has not had a productive Olympic outing thus far. When initially added to the 2016 USA Men’s roster, he was expected to bring his marksman 3-point shooting to one side of the floor and stand-up defense to the other.

Apparently he left both in Oakland.

Klay’s last international competition with the 2014 FIBA World Cup winning team, he averaged 12.7 PPG, shooting 52% from the field and 42% from three. Things have certainly changed…

Through four games with the 2016 squad, he’s averaging 2.8 PPG, shooting 15% from the field and 18% from three! In 66 total minutes, he’s totaled 11 points.

Some contend that his slump may be just a hangover from his recent finals loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Some blame it on the difference in 3-point lines from NBA to international play, working against players like Klay who tend to perform better shooting NBA threes than long NBA twos (which would be equivalent to an international three.)


Others ground their speculation in a bit more analytical foundation stating that since international courts are smaller, closeouts are sharper forcing Klay to either drive more than he’s accustomed to, or he’s rushing up shots and never getting into the rhythm that allows his game to catch on fire.

Klay is extremely rhythm-oriented and it’s honestly the biggest Achilles heel of his game. When he’s on, he’s ON FIRE. But seemingly, the only remedy for Klay when his shot isn’t falling is for him to ‘shoot himself out of it.’ Using his last four international campaigns as a test subject, that doesn’t always work out so well for him. Hopefully Klay can turn it around soon, Team USA can definitely use an uptick in his production.

USA tips off against the French national team on Sunday Aug 14th, featuring Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, and Rudy Gobert.


-Darryl F.

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