Those team-high eight dimes in particular jump off the stat sheet, as Thompson averaged just 2.1 assists per game last season and had never had eight in game before in his career prior to Wednesday. As one of the league's better jump shooters, Thompson demands a lot of attention when the ball is in his hands. As such, if he makes the proper read, he can dish out more assists than his career average, particularly when he has either Stephen Curry (32 points on 11-for-19 shooting) or Kevin Durant (27 points on 10-for-19 shooting) available for open looks this season.
Thompson supplied 17 points (7-17 FG, 3-7 3Pt), six rebounds, three assists and a steal over 25 minutes in Friday's 129-128 preseason victory over the Nuggets.
The Big Three were in fine form Friday, with Thompson checking in just behind Kevin Durant scoring-wise, and both players trailing Stephen Curry, who put up a game-high 22 points. Thompson has been hot from the field over the first four preseason contests, shooting 55.3 percent (26-for-47), including 45.2 percent (14-for-31) from beyond the arc. He turned in a particularly well-rounded stat line against Denver as well, with his six boards a pre-season high and his three assists representing his first dimes of the exhibition slate.
The consensus thought heading into the 2016-17 season is that Thompson might have to sacrifice some shots this season with the addition of Kevin Durant to the lineup, but through the first two preseason games, Thompson is getting his looks. That's especially true from three-point range, where 20 of Thompson's 27 shots have come from thus far. Despite his strong start to preseason play, there will be an adjustment for Thompson in 2016-17, as it's easy to envision Durant or Stephen Curry being the team's shot leader on any given night. The key for Thompson is whether or not he can be a contributor in other areas when he's not getting a high volume of shot attempts. The
Thompson committed Thursday to play for Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports.
While Warriors backcourt mate Stephen Curry won't be joining him in Rio, Thompson will try to shake off the team's disappointing NBA Finals series loss by playing in his first Olympic Games this summer. He'll join a stacked group of wings that already includes Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
Thompson tallied 25 points (9-21 FG, 3-10 3Pt, 4-7 FT), three rebounds, an assist, two steals and a block over 38 minutes during Thursday's 115-101 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Finals.
Coming off a Game 5 where he posted a 54.5 percent success rate from long distance, Thompson was much less effective on his attempts from beyond the arc. He still posted a third straight 20-point-plus performance however, after averaging just 12 points per contest in the first three games of the series. The 26-year-old will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in Sunday's Game 7, and his importance will exponentially increase if fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry is suspended due to having hit a fan with his mouthpiece following his ejection Thursday.
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