Which Thompson Will have the Bigger Impact: Tristan or Klay?
As we sit on our hands and wait over a week for the NBA Finals to get started, we can look at some of the match-ups that could go a long way in deciding these Finals
Understandably, the focus will center on the two best players on the planet, LeBron James and Stephen Curry. However, there will be more to it than just those two to watch once we get under way this Thursday night.
Klay Thompson has enjoyed the best season of his career in his fourth season out of Washington State, averaging a career high of 21.7 points this year and amassing a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 20.86, 29th out of qualifying players.
Like our Videos...
Tristan Thompson, selected 7 picks ahead of his counterpart in the 2011 draft, is also is enjoying his best season as a pro. While his scoring has dipped (which is understandable given the offseason additions of LeBron James and Kevin Love), he has become a valuable contributor, especially since Love’s first round injury. Thompson was inserted into the starting lineup when Love went down, and he responded, averaging almost 12 points and 11 rebounds per game on 64% shooting percentage in the series against the Hawks and throwing down some tremendous dunks.
Like our Videos...
Klay Thompson has been inconsistent in the post season this far, shooting only 34% from three in the Houston Rockets’ series. Given that LeBron James is likely to guard the best offensive player on the Warriors for key stretches of the game, regardless of position, it is key for Thompson to be the lethal second option he was in the regular season and exploit J.R. Smith or a hobbled Kyrie Iriving.
While Klay Thompson will be counted on as the secondary scorer for the Warriors in the series, Tristan Thompson’s role will be more varied. Tristan Thompson will be asked to do two things, guard Draymond Green who emerged as a potential max-contract player this season and crash the glass on both ends. If Tristan Thompson can contain Green it will allow LeBron James to guard less offensively skilled players such as Andre Igoudala or either Klay Thompson or Steph Curry.
Tristan Thompson can do a lot of things to help the Cavs, but Klay has to be considered the more talented Thompson and will have the bigger impact if he regains his shooting form.