Even though Klay Thompson is known for his precise shooting skills on the basketball court, the Golden State Warriors star wants to receive more credit for his defensive prowess.

In an interview with Stadium’s Shams Charania (h/t WatchStadium.com’s Chinmay Vaidya), Thompson believes he’s been overlooked in All-NBA Defensive Team voting.

“The past few years, there’s been some guys where I’m like, ‘Man, I know I’m a better defender than him,’” Thompson said. “I really want to make one of those teams. I think I put the work in on both ends to get that recognition.”

From sitdown with Warriors’ @KlayThompson: Klay takes aim on NBA All-Defensive team. “I’m very confident in saying this: The past few years, there’s been some guys where I’m like, ‘Man, I know I’m a better defender than him.’”

Thompson has helped the Warriors win three NBA titles in the past four seasons. He’s also been named to four straight All-Star teams and is a two-time member of the All-NBA third team in 2015 and 2016.

Other members of the Warriors have highlighted Thompson’s defensive ability in the past, including 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green.

“He doesn’t get enough respect for his defense,” Green told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group in March. “But his defense is a key part of what we do.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr explained Thompson’s value on defense comes from his ability to line up opposite every player on an opposing team.

“He just chases the ball all day long,” Kerr said. “Klay never gets tired. He guards point guards for us and then he switches onto four men. Then he guards the post. Then he runs around the other end like he’s Reggie Miller. There’s stamina, strength and ability to play on both ends.”

There’s nothing remarkable about Thompson’s defensive stats. His single-season career high in steals is 1.1 per game and blocks is 0.8 (both in 2014-15). He finished tied for third on the Warriors with 1.8 defensive win shares last season, per Basketball-Reference.com.

Medina noted Thompson held Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards to a combined 4-of-29 shooting in back-to-back games last season.

Golden State’s defense can get overlooked because Thompson, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry can light up the scoreboard in a hurry.

The Warriors’ effort on the defensive side of the ball is one of the main reasons they have been so successful over the past four seasons. They haven’t finished lower than 11th in defensive efficiency since the 2012-13 season.

Thompson is one of the driving forces behind Golden State’s defense. He can guard any position at any time and makes the most of his ability to warrant being discussed as one of the NBA’s best two-way players.

Courtesy: Bleacher Report


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