Klay Thompson reacts to the Warriors team meeting and remains patient as he defeats the Knicks

SAN FRANCISCO – Tues warrior held an open team meeting after the Friday morning shoot. Draymond Greenhow Clay Thompson it says, “kept the word” for a significant portion. Yes, Mychal Green said the team “addressed the elephants in the room.”

elephants — Plural- — because the warriors have problems — Plural-. Starting 6-9, they’d put up a halfhearted teamwide save and grumbled a bit about shifting and minimizing roles. But the biggest elephant in the room after Wednesday’s lifeless loss in Phoenix was Klay Thompson thirsty shot selection, hijacking the offensive in an attempt to detonate itself from a deep gunnery slump. His teammates were visibly frustrated.

“I’ve seen a lot of movies,” Thompson said. “And, uh, you know, sometimes…yeah. I mean, Draymond and I had a great chat this morning. He told me to be patient and trust the team. I thought I lived that tonight.”

The warriors beat them curtsy 111-101. They were beefed up defensively and held New York to 19 points in the first quarter. They had seven more rebounds. They received reasonable bench production. The whole operation hummed with even more exuberance.

But all eyes were on Thompson. The Warriors had subliminally and directly challenged him publicly and privately in the 48 hours between games. How would the proud and stubborn all-time shooter deal with that? Would he tame his approach or pick his way through the noise?

The Warriors got their answer in the opening minutes. Thompson came off a pindown screen on the right wing and received a pass from Green. Thompson had already hit a few jumpers, which usually motivates him to give every halfway decent look he can find. But Thompson didn’t shoot this one. He sensed the two defenders around him and dropped it to the cut Kevin Looneywho earned two free throws.

Watch the possession again. Keep an eye on the bank after the foul. Donte DiVincenzo and Andre Iguodala both point to Thompson, acknowledging the sacrificial pass and moment of growth, a topic they hammered out as a team in the morning briefing.

“Half an open look and he moved on,” said Steve Kerr. “This is what the game should look like. Klay is such a great shot that he’s constantly drawing closeouts and two people are going after him. So if he just moves it, we automatically have an advantage.”

What did Thompson see when he turned on the Phoenix film?

“Got great looks early on but maybe rushed a few instead of swinging the ball and getting a really easy one,” he said. “Not cutting with enough force. I thought I did that tonight. If you do the easy ones early, the difficult ones go in later.”

Thompson’s aggressive nature can never be repressed. The moment he becomes a hesitant 3-point shooter, he becomes unplayable. He must not lose his greatest ability. But the approach has nuances. Sometimes it’s better to serve as bait. Sometimes it’s better to move the ball to a hotter shooter. Sometimes it’s better to wait for a game to develop rather than chase something that isn’t there.

Kerr was asked before the game what kind of recordings Thompson would like to make.

“Just open some,” Kerr said. “I think our history here was a ball movement team. We’re either #1 in assists or close every year. When the ball moves, we play more offensively and Klay often benefits from that. I think he needs to look for easier actions. If he has the ball and there’s nothing there, just keep moving him. The ball will find its way back to him and he will get better shots. That is the process that will unfold here over the next few weeks.”

It took three hours for Kerr’s prediction to come true in Friday night’s most pivotal moments. Thompson had put in a patient game in exchange for a higher number of efficient looks. He made eight of his 16 shots, having made at least 50 percent in the first game of the season.

“It just felt incredible to have an efficient night off the field,” Thompson said.

The Knicks entered with a small streak. They beat them nuggets and jazz to start this road trip. The Warriors jumped ahead of them early, but they had it cut to 10 with less than five minutes left. The Warriors still had to finish.

With possession that felt like the dagger, Thompson put the ball on the court. Instead of attacking, he threw it to Draymond Green at the top of the key and positioned himself on the left wing to spread the ground.

The piece materialized in a way that many of the warrior’s finest possessions do. Green put Curry up screen and the defense started to crawl. Curry’s dropoff to Green resulted in a ping in the corner where JaMychal Green was standing. Jalen BrunsonIn a questionable maneuver, he left Thompson on the wing and ran to JaMychal in the corner.

That led to an easy switch to an open Thompson, who took the kind of catch-and-shoot jumper the Warriors always wanted to create for him. The game had rewarded his patience.

How did this special possession make Thompson feel?

“It felt great,” he said. “Especially when you swing the ball. That’s the best feeling when a Sagittarius tickles the thread like that.”

It’s too early to say the warriors’ problems are solved. They only won one home game against an average team. They are 7-1 at home with a plus of 82 points this season and 0-8 away with a minus of 85 points. So the final judgment will come from the Chase Center. They’re in Houston and New Orleans Sunday and Monday trying to build on that momentum.

But Friday’s meeting is an indication of a possible turning point, and Thompson’s progressive approach was the first sign that accountability was being acted upon.

“Very constructive meeting,” said Thompson. “Draymond definitely kept his word. He’s such a great motivator. We all reacted well. It can be very useful. We thought this morning was an incredible time of growth for our entire team.”

“We addressed a lot of things that needed to be addressed and I think we’re starting to bring them together,” said JaMychal Green. “We had this tough conversation that a lot of people don’t want to have, but we had that conversation and it was badly needed. I think it made people focus more on what we need to do as a team.”

Here’s Thompson making a paper airplane as he talks about everything.


Here is the move of the night.

(Photo of Klay Thompson shooting a 3-pointer over Jalen Brunson in the third quarter on Friday: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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