Draymond Green claims Klay Thompson ‘doesn’t get enough respect for his defense’
Klay Thompson is having perhaps one of his least-flashy seasons under Steve Kerr in 2017-18, but regardless of his relatively quiet demeanor, it hasn’t taken away from his defensive impact on this team, according to his peers.
“No big deal,” Thompson said nonchalantly when asked why he’s been overlooked as a defender, according to Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News.
Thompson has massively improved as a defensive player since Mark Jackson took over the helm, but he has never been named to either the first or second teams All-Defense.
Why? is the questions that begs to be asked. Thompson was sincere.
“I don’t average the sexy stats. I don’t get a lot of blocks or steals. I’m solid,” said Thompson, who is only averaging 0.7 steals and 0.53 blocks per game. “I’m just known for my shooting and offensive prowess. But on the defensive side of the ball, I haven’t gotten the same recognition, which is fine.”
His teammate Draymond Green, a Defensive Player of the Year in his own right, went a step further, praising his commitment in the less-glamorous end of the court.
“He doesn’t get enough respect for his defense,” Green said. “But his defense is a key part of what we do.”
His head coach, Steve Kerr, is well aware of his impact as a defender and how vital it is to have a shutdown hawk in the backcourt that can guard multiple positions.
“He just chases the ball all day long,” Kerr said. “Klay never gets tired. He guards point guards for us and then he switches onto four men. Then he guards the post. Then he runs around the other end like he’s Reggie Miller. There’s stamina, strength and ability to play on both ends.”
Thompson had a less-than-ideal postseason with this team, averaging 15 points per game and shooting under 40 percent from the field in the 2017 playoffs. Even in the NBA Finals, Thompson scored 6, 13, and 11 points in Games 1, 4, and 5, respectively — but he never relented at the defensive end — a trait very scarcely found in two-way 20-point scorers.
The 6-foot-7 marksman has been unwavering in his defensive tasks, and even if he’s not getting a mixed bag of blocks, steals, or rebounds — his own team is fully aware of his impact as one of the many defensive pillars this roster has revolved around.