In case 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 crime has been producing only quality looks for the shooting guard during the preseason.
Thompson can keep the majority of the cash; the vast majority of his improvement has to do with killer assurance and a perfect launch. We can’t charge Kerr for those things.
What’s happening with Thompson is a symptom of a larger change in Golden State–one which is giving rise to the expectation that last year’s 51-win effort 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 frequently stalled and stagnated, leading to muddled isolation plays and contested jumpers. There was little movement or dynamism, and small sense of cohesion.”
Already among the league’s top defensive outfits (the Warriors rated third in defensive efficiency last year), Kerr’s club is shifting the ball superbly on crime. Andrew Bogut and David Lee, great passers both, are now hubs of this assault, and Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala et al. are feasting on cuts, flares and brush screens.
All this, and Kerr has only had a couple of months to set up the basics of his admittedly complicated scheme.
If Golden State gets past the turnovers that hurt it last season and continued to crop up throughout the preseason, it’s the group with the best shot to choose one of the West’s best 3 spots from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers or San Antonio Spurs.
If this happens, Thompson will not be lonely in owing a debt to Kerr. Fans across the Bay Area will be there with him.
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