Through the decades The Golden State Warriors have been more dependent on Stephen Curry than the entire “Strength in Numbers” mantra suggests. In those Kevin Durant super time There were two distinct separate Warriors teams: with and without Curry.
In their first ever full-time game without Curry as he was down with a knee injury. The Warriors took off from the 3 point line and looked the same as they had all season long in a victory of 141-114 against the Thunder. The win came after the Warriors had won against Dallas during the match where Curry suffered a knee injury.
It’s a unexpected theme this season: Golden State has been good with out Curry. The team has been 8-8 in all 16 games Curry has missed, and 7-2 in the past nine.
The previous Monday Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson were the leaders in scoring as the Warriors scored 26 3-pointers. That’s just one short of the franchise record. Thompson was responsible for 12 of them himself, two shy of Klay Thompson’s single-game NBA record which is 14. Thompson had just 16 chances. A 75 percent clip. It’s not bad.
It’s the ninth occasion in Klay Thompson’s playing career that he’s scored at minimum 10 3s in the course of a game. This could also constitute an NBA record were it weren’t for Curry who has made this 22 times. Curry along with Thompson have the distinction of being only two two players who have ever recorded more than one game with at least 12 3s (they’ve both done it twice).
Thompson’s most bizarre moment of the game? He didn’t even attempt one free throw. His 42 points rank as the top in the league this season , without any free throws, beating Donovan Mitchell’s 38 against the Knicks in October.
This isn’t a statistic that the Warriors will be content with. However impressive it is to be able to do such a lot of damage with jump shots. There is no team in the league that has fewer free-throw attempts than the Warriors which attempted just seven on Monday and some were the garbage.
Klay Thompson hasn’t been a great free-throw runner. Thompson isn’t able to get close closer to the rim or in the lane. In truth, I’m not sure that you’d like him to dribble more than what is needed. It’s still a difficult mountain to climb for the Warriors who, not only make the fewest free throws, but also give up the most at the other side.
It’s unlikely to change. They’ll need to take many shots to make up for the difference.
However, let’s look at things positive: Poole was magnificent. In one game the player was totally Steph-like. He was a complete Thunder by being the creator, with an all-time high of 12 assists. This sprint and kick for Thompson was masterpiece:
Here, Poole takes on the empty side of the rim and causing Josh Giddey to spin around before dropping a bounce to the vacant Andrew Wiggins for the Gimme Deuce.
Just when it appeared that it would be a low scoring night for Poole, he began hunting his own shot. He ended up scoring five 3-pointers, along with 21 points, in a highly proficient and patient performance. This is an incredible Curry thing. A peaceful shooting night has transformed into a nuclear event within just a blink.
Poole and Thompson aren’t likely to play the way they do every night It’s obvious. If they can get some form over the coming week, and then a quarter to boost the Warriors ahead of their All-Star break, what a boost it could be, with each game playing a role at this point.
Next up is Portland on Wednesday.