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The Extra Pass: Klay Thompson’s interesting statistical season; plus Sunday’s recaps

Jan 13, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

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Stephen Curry gets most of the headlines, and he earns them. Just remove Andre Iguodala from the rotation and the Warriors become pedestrian (as we have seen). Andrew Bogut anchors it all down.

However we shouldn’t leave Klay Thompson off the list.

When you start to look at the Sports VU camera data from the NBA — the cameras in every arena that track every movement a player makes, then the six cameras provide that data to a computer, which details everything that happens on the court — the numbers paint an interesting picture of Thompson.

• Thompson gets 9 catch-and-shoot points per game, tied with Ryan Anderson for the most in the NBA. He gets 7.3 catch-and-shoot opportunities a game, 5.5 of those are from three, and Thompson has an impressive eFG% of 61.8 percent on those chances. That percentage puts him ahead of some very good catch-and-shoot guys such as Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin, Bradley Beal and a host of others (the highest eFG% on catch-and-shoots of guys getting more than four a game is, not surprisingly, Kyle Korver at 73.6%).

• Thompson is averaging 0.46 points per time he touches the ball, the fourth best in the NBA. For the record, he touches the ball about 41.7 times per game.

• Thompson has covered more ground running than any NBA player, 100.8 miles this season. Thompson covers an average of 2.7 miles per game, again most in the NBA.

• By the way, he moves at an average of 4.2 miles per hour while running around, which is pretty average (Patty Mills of the Spurs moves the fastest at 4.8).

Those number pretty much confirm what we already knew about Thompson — that he moves off the ball, works hard to get open, and when you feed him the rock he’s likely to shoot it and likely to make it.

Combine that with Stephen Curry and you have one interesting — and dangerous — backcourt. They may be jump shooters but that’s fine if they go in, and for this team they go in a lot.

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Kings 124, Cavaliers 80: Here’s the real story out of this game — Isaiah Thomas completely outplayed Kyrie Irving. Thomas finished with 26 points while Irving had 7 on 3-of-14 shooting (with Thomas and Ben McLemore primarily on him. Well, that’s the story plus Sacramento won this going away. Cleveland did have an early 7-0 lead, and C.J. Miles hit an amazing three at the end of the first quarter, but that’s about when things fall apart. With Jimmer Fredette off the bench scoring 8 to spark it, the Kings went on a 19-4 run early in the second and that’s pretty much it, Sacramento ran away with it. Rudy Gay had 20 points on 12 shots, and DeMarcus Cousins was too much for anyone on the Cavs in the paint.

Grizzlies 108, Hawks 101: Atlanta had gone on a 16-0 run from the end of the third into the early fourth and had taken a three point lead, then Mike Conley happened. He either scored assisted on 23 of the next Grizzlies 25 points to get Memphis the win. Atlanta had played pretty good defense the past week or so, but the Memphis Grizzlies knocked down shots — 51.8 percent overall and 6-of-15 from three — and make the Hawks pay. Mike Miller came in and hit 6-of-8 on his way to 15 points, and Conley was crossing up Shelvin Mack on his way to 21.

Spurs 104, Timberwolves 86: And still the Timberwolves cannot get over .500. The Spurs execution is just relentless and while this game was even for the first half Tim Duncan put up 11 of his 15 in the third quarter as the Spurs pulled away for the win. Tony Parker added 14 points and 10 dimes. Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves on the night (he was covered by Duncan much of the night, the Spurs do miss Tiago Splitter).

  1. cruzan80 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    The Kings might have something there….might actually be a playoff team…..a dangerous one too.

  2. davidly - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Brilliant, Kurt. I’ve been dubious in the recent past as to the value of them, but would love to see where Reggie Millers lands vis a vis stats like these.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      Wish they had stats like that back in the day.

      • davidly - Jan 14, 2014 at 2:31 AM

        Yeah. Suffice to say that Reggie covered a good deal of ground.

        What would you say about a stat for distance covered/geographical area–you know, for guys who run in tight circles?-) And of course, then there’d be the same for the offensive vs. the defensive end — and all of the above vs. results yielded.

  3. norcalkingsfan - Jan 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    The best player in the 2011 draft was taken with the last pick. Sorry Klay. Sorry Kyrie. The pizza guy has stolen the show.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Calling him better than Kyrie after one good game against him is a little ridiculous. Stop it man.

      Of course you’re from Nor Cal.

  4. pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Wolves still can’t get over .500. It aint K-Love, K-Mart or Pekovic’s fault.

    Why? Rubio’s overrated. Sub 40% FG 3 years in a row. He’s a big PG at 6’4″ with long arms. He has no excuses. He can’t close and shies away in the clutch (their horrific W-L record in close games).

    Budinger won’t get you in the playoffs. They must be kicking themselves for giving up Lawson.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Rubio hasn’t been bad, but he also hasn’t been great, as expected going into his 3rd year as a 23 year old. He really hasn’t ascended to greatness and I wonder if his prior ACL/LCL injury has something to do with it and if so will he ever live up to his full potential.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        His deficiencies are masked by his passing ability and steals which won’t get the Wolves anywhere while being liability in almost every other way. He’s 2 years removed from ACL surgery. Stop making excuses for him.

        Sounds crazy but it might be a better idea to start the feisty Barea. Of course it’ll never happen though.

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        For the record, he is one year out of returning from surgery.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Kurt, his *surgery was 2 years ago*. I never said he’s 2 years “out of returning from surgery.”

        I hope you’re not defending him…

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        I think right now he’s an average NBA point guard with some flash, and I think to suggest that’s all a 23-year-old could ever be would be the big mistake.

  5. 00maltliquor - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    The Jimmer’s had 3 pretty good games in a row.

    #freeJimmer

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