Los Angeles Lakers: Charles Jenkins

Lakers at Warriors: What to watch with Warriorsworld

March, 27, 2012
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky

2012 has been a season chock full of uncertainty for the Warriors. Uncertainty about what the future holds for a roster in perpetual turnover. (The latest rebuilding phase features a nucleus of David Lee, perpetually-injured-but-undoubtedly talented Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut, plus promising rookie Klay Thompson.) Uncertainty about the long term prospects of rookie head coach Mark Jackson. And uncertainty about how much further the patience of a historically faithful fan base can be tested. It was a shame to see Chris Mullins' jersey retirement ceremony drown in a sea of boos directed at owner Joe Lacob. But as Bill Simmons recently (and convincingly) illustrated, the reaction was a long work in progress. And now 3-6 since Monta Ellis was dealt to Milwaukee, it appears more darkness will persist before any light finally shines on Warriors fans.

For a deeper look at the Warriors, we contacted Jordan Ramirez from Warriorsworld of the True Hoop network. Below are his thoughts on a few questions, plus one of my own.

Kyle Terada/US Presswire
Klay Thompson can shoot the lights out, but is still learning the NBA game.

Land O' Lakers: The Ellis trade opened up more playing time for Klay Thompson. How has he responded, and what are his strengths and weaknesses, particularly areas that could be critical one way or the other against the Lakers?

Jordan Ramirez: Klay Thompson has responded well since replacing the Bay Area legend and fan favorite Monta Ellis. His strength will always be his shooting touch. Whether it’s spotting up from the corner or coming off quick screens, Thompson has shown the ability to shoot the rock. But he still could improve on his drive and slash ability. He’ll never be an Ellis-type slasher, but he should focus on improving his ability to get to the line (with his 89% FT shooting). If Thompson adds the ability to get to the hole with his shooting skills, his offensive successes will be endless.

Defensively, Thompson plays much like an NBA rookie would normally play: silly fouls, biting on pump fakes and getting burned on a semi-regular basis. Do I think these will be chronic problems? No, but against the Lakers – and Kobe Bryant – Thompson will have his hands full, to say the least. With a healthy Curry and Bogut next season it will be interesting to see the progress Thompson will made since his rookie campaign. The Warriors front office will have their hands full if he doesn’t.

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Kobe Bryant
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.0
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.6
BlocksE. Davis 1.3