November 7th 2016 at 6:42pm CST by Eddie Scarito
Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson denied a suggestion that his early season struggles were a result of the team’s offseason addition of Kevin Durant, Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN.com relays. “Not at all,” Thompson said when asked if his cold spell had anything to do with Durant. “I struggled last year for the first 20 games, and Kevin wasn’t here. So it has nothing to do with Kevin. So last year I struggled, then I went on a tear, so it’s just like any other season. Obviously we have different players, but I’m still getting the shots I always got before he was here, so it’s not on Kevin at all.” Thompson, who made 42.5% of his three-point shots during the 2015/16 campaign, has shot only 19.6% from beyond the arc through the Warriors’ first six outings.
Here’s more from out West:
- Ricky Rubio, who has missed the Wolves‘ last three contests due to a sprained right elbow, is making steady progress in his recovery, according to coach/executive Tom Thibodeau, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune relays. No timetable has been relayed regarding when the point guard can return to action, Zgoda adds.
- Spurs rookie Dejounte Murray credits much of his success and development to the influence of Clippers veteran Jamal Crawford, who has mentored the rookie for years, writes Rowan Kavner of NBA.com. “It means a lot,” Murray said of Crawford’s assistance. “When you’re successful, a professional athlete, you can help a lot of others. That’s one thing he did, is help me get to where I’m at today. I’m trying to have a long career like he has. He’s 36, he’s played a lot of years. He’s successful, and he’s still climbing in that top 100 scoring list. He’s a great dude.”
- Mavericks rookie Dorian Finney-Smith has been pressed into action due to injuries on the team, but he is quickly earning the trust of the coaching staff with his strong play, Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders writes. “Finney-Smith is a more-experienced player in the American game,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Tuesday night’s game. “He’s an excellent defender. We don’t normally do it, but he got the game ball tonight. He was plus-19 when he was on the floor and Milwaukee was only 0.56 points per possession when he was on the floor. Other guys are doing it too, but it’s not a coincidence that the game changed on some level when he was out there.”