The Golden State Warriors' defense of their championship win last season has gotten off to an ugly start. Their record sits at 2-2 through four games, and aside from their season-opening win against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Warriors haven't looked like the team that just won the 2022 NBA Finals. Things became particularly ugly in their 29-point loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, showing that there might be something seriously wrong with the Warriors.
Barkley calls out Klay for his poor start to the season
One player who has had a particularly poor start to the season is Klay Thompson. Thompson was OK last season in his return from a two-and-a-half season layoff, but he has been horrible to start the 2022-23 season. Thompson is averaging just 11 points per game in the early going while shooting a woeful 35.6 percent from the floor, with an even worse 28.6 shooting percentage on threes.
It's been a rough start for Thompson, who is having his minutes limited by head coach Steve Kerr in an attempt to protect him. If you ask Charles Barkley, Thompson isn't the player he once was, largely due to the severe injuries he suffered a few seasons ago. That's a worrying take from Barkley, as the Warriors will need Thompson to be a lot better if they intend on repeating as champions this season.
"There was a time when Klay Thompson was the best two-way guard in the NBA, and he's not the same guy. And that's because of injuries. Now, is he done? No, I don't think he's done. I think he's slowing down and it's catching up with him. That's why he's frustrated." - Charles Barkley, Sports Illustrated
Klay needs to figure things out, or else the Warriors are in trouble
Barkley references Thompson being frustrated since he was ejected from the Warriors' latest loss to the Suns. Thompson was getting chippy with Devin Booker, and he ended up getting himself ejected as a result. Thompson likely isn't happy with how he's played to start the season, and Barkley believes that's why he ended up getting himself ejected from the game.
Barkley's take on Thompson's health is interesting because it's something that has been worth paying attention to with him over the past season. Thompson was solid last season, but he wasn't shy in saying he didn't play much basketball during this past offseason out of fear of getting injured again. Maybe Thompson is shaking off some rust, but he's been so bad that he has looked unplayable for long stretches of his time on the court.
Barkley's observation may be correct here, which is sad to see, as Thompson has become a staple of the great Warriors squads in the past decade. He will be given a chance to figure things out, but as of right now, Thompson isn't having a great start to the season, and it will be interesting to see whether the Warriors can afford to continue giving him time to try to figure things out this season.