So, um, Klay Thompson is playing in another Game 6. (The 2022 NBA Finals resumes at 9 p.m. EST.) And, yeah, this Game 6 will also have a hungry Stephen Curry coming off a poor performance in game 5. How do I put this? It's over.
No Bricks With Klay
"Game 6 Klay" is a title that comes from 2016. In Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference finals, Thompson hit 11 three-pointers to help the Warriors fight off elimination at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. This has still been the most iconic performance of his career. This set up a game 7 where the Warriors won a trip to the NBA Finals, where they won another Championship.
That was seven years ago. Big whoop, right? Wrong.
Thompson’s last Game 6 was a few weeks ago in the Western Conference semifinals against the Grizzlies. He had a team-high 30 points on 11-22 shooting, including 8-14 from deep. Thompson added eight rebounds and three blocks as if the scoring was not enough.
In Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Raptors, Thompson scored 30 points on 12 shots from the field in 32 minutes. Unfortunately, this was the game where he tore his ACL. Thompson played in three game 6s during the 2019 playoff run. Those three Game 6s in the 2019 postseason against the Clippers, Rockets, and the Raptors. Thompson’s efficiency was incredible. He scored 66 points and shot 50.0 percent from the field, and 52.2 percent beyond the arc. Thompson has been slowly progressing his way back to elite status ever since. The "Game 6 Klay" thing is real. Need more proof? Ask his mercurial teammate, Draymond Green.
“Game 6 Klay is still Game 6 Klay. I think one of the beautiful things about Game 6 Klay is that obviously became this narrative, like this thing people say. Klay really believes that now. Like in his head, he’s like, ‘its Game 6, of course, I’m going to do this, are you crazy?’... And he believes Game 6 Klay is a real thing, and guess what, if Killa Klay believes it, then I believe it.”
Thompson Has Help
There's an obvious reason Thompson has these huge game 6 opportunities. When the point guard of your team is Stephen Curry, you're going to eventually find open looks. The Warriors use their tandem 'Splash Brothers' in a variety of ways to wear down opposing teams. When they're both on the floor, Curry always finds an open Thompson. When Curry needs to rest, leaving Thompson on the floor is a luxury of riches for the Warriors. We're talking about a guy (Thompson) who once scored 37 points in one quarter. The discussions about the greatness of Steph Curry are well-deserved, but without Thompson, Curry would likely have at least one less championship title.
Even if Thompson doesn't have a 30-point barrage in Game 6, the Warriors are closing it out. Between Curry coming off of a 'bad game' and Thompson's Game 6 reputation, as Kenny Smith would put it, "it's OVAH!"