Unseen Warrior

Unseen Warrior June 23, 2017

Back in December, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors scored 60 points in a game. That’s a lot. More impressive is the fact that he scored 60 points while playing 29 minutes, for an average of 2.07 points per minute played. The mind-numbing stat, though, is his time of possession: 90 seconds, total. Other players who have scored 60 points have had the ball between 4 and 6 minutes of the game. Thompson scored 60 while controlling the ball for a minute and a half.

Writing at the New Yorker following the Warriors’ victory in the NBA Finals, Thomas Beller nicely captures the beauty of Thompson’s game:

There is something wonderfully ridiculous about Thompson’s game that feels like the unseen core of the whole system of Warriors ball. Somewhere in the midst of the whole series, I wondered if, speaking as a Knicks fan, I would be happy with a trade of Carmelo for Klay. The answer is yes, in a heartbeat. They are both incredible shooters. And yet the ball always tends to stick to Carmelo, while Klay acts as if it were a scalding object—he has a strange quality of scoring prolifically while hardly ever actually seeming to have the ball. On any given night, he might score more points than anybody has ever scored, and defend more tenaciously than anyone has ever defended, but he does it all while hardly seeming to be present. He is in some way the soul of the Warriors team.

Or the spirit, the forgotten member of the trinity whose other members are Curry and Durant.


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