Klay Thompson's slow start is nothing new, Warriors' Steve Kerr explains

Kerr explains how Klay's slow start is nothing new originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Four games into the 2022-23 NBA season, Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson is frustrated.

He's shooting 28.6 percent from 3-point range and averaging just 11.0 points per game. The defending champion Warriors are 2-2 and really only have one satisfying win after nearly blowing a 26-point lead against the Kings on Sunday.

Those struggles, sprinkled with a dash of trash talk with Devin Booker, resulted in Thompson's first career ejection Tuesday night.

"It’s been a slow start to [Thompson's] season, some of which is based on the fact that he couldn’t play, other than one exhibition game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told KNBR's Tom Tolbert and Adam Copeland on Wednesday. "He didn’t scrimmage the first couple weeks of camp. He’s really just getting his legs underneath him."

Thompson played well in Golden State's 123-109 season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 18, posting 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting. But since then, he has made just 6 of 22 attempts from downtown (27.3 percent). Thompson knocked down just 1 of 8 field-goal attempts Tuesday night before getting whistled for two technical fouls and receiving an early trip to the locker room midway through the third quarter.

"He has traditionally started slow with his shooting," Kerr said. "He always forgets that this happened before he was injured, too. I don’t think this has anything to do with the injury. He’s always been a little bit of a slow starter."

In the 2018-19 NBA season -- his last full campaign before missing the next two-and-a-half years with injury -- Thompson made just 31.3 percent of his 3-point shots in nine October games. Once the calendar flipped to 2019, he shot 45.2 percent from outside the rest of the regular season.

In 2016-17, Thompson swished a mere 20.8 percent of 3-point attempts over his first seven games. He rebounded to shoot 41.4 percent from deep that season.

This is nothing new.

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"I think he’s so competitive and he wants so badly to contribute and be himself, the guy who has won championships and been a Hall of Fame player," Kerr said. "He wants all of that back right now. It’s not going to happen this early in the season. He needs a few more weeks of conditioning, of rhythm.

"In the early going, he’s frustrated. And [Tuesday] night, that frustration got the best of him."

Thompson will get another chance to redeem his poor shooting night Thursday when the Warriors host the Miami Heat at Chase Center. Tune in to Warriors Pregame Live at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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