Ja tweets about quiet Klay critics with Dubs’ star shining originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
After Thompson scored 20 points to help the Warriors beat the Utah Jazz on Friday night at Chase Center, Morant sent out a tweet defending the five-time NBA All-Star, as well as Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons, who also has started to play better recently.
Thompson’s slow start to the 2022-23 NBA season caused him to hear from analysts who were convinced he would never get back to the player he was before he tore his left ACL and right Achilles.
TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley was the most vocal critic of Thompson, saying that the four-time NBA champion was slipping. Those comments didn’t sit well with Thompson, who clearly was hurt by what Barkley said.
But Thompson has been playing better over the last eight days, and there are two main reasons why. The first was a team meeting before the Warriors’ Nov. 18 home game against the New York Knicks. Klay and his teammates have addressed how reeling him back in was one of the topics of discussion during the meeting.
And before the Warriors’ game against the Jazz, Thompson spoke about blocking out the internet trolls, limiting his social media use and not worrying about what anyone has to say.
Ever since that meeting before the Knicks game, Thompson’s numbers have improved. He’s playing within the rhythm of the Warriors’ offense again and that’s leading to good things.
In four games since last Friday, Thompson is averaging 24.8 points on 52.3 percent shooting from the field and 54.8 percent from 3-point range. Prior to that, he was averaging 15.1 points on 35.1 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from deep, number he has never come close to during his NBA career.
Thompson recently acknowledged he knows he can never get back to his peak performance level from 2019, but over the last few games, he has looked as close to that player as possible. In the Warriors’ first road win of the season last Monday in Houston, the 32-year-old had a vintage performance, scoring a season-high 41 points.
Thompson is balling out and Morant took notice. The two stars will get a chance to face each other for the first time this season when the Warriors host the Grizzlies at 5 p.m. PT on Christmas Day at Chase Center.