Klay Thompson Playing His Way into Starting Unit for Golden State Warriors

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIOctober 31, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball during their game against the Los Angeles Lakers at ORACLE Arena on October 30, 2013 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After being eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs last year, the Golden State Warriors had a strong offseason despite the losses of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry in free agency.

The highlight of the Dubs' offseason was the acquisition of Andre Iguodala, which strengthened the team into a title contender.  Iguodala is now teamed up with Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.

However, there is one problem with the aforementioned group of six players, and that problem is that only five of them can be starters.  The problem has been put on hold while Harrison Barnes recovers from a foot injury, but Barnes could make his return as early as Saturday night when the Warriors play the Sacramento Kings.

One possibility was to have Iguodala take over for Klay Thompson to team with Curry, with Thompson getting minutes off the bench.  If that was the plan of third-year coach Mark Jackson, it should be seriously reconsidered.

In the Warriors' season opener at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Thompson came out of the gates on fire and didn't seem to cool off.  He set a career high with 38 points and accomplished that feat without playing in the fourth quarter.  Thompson was on pace to have the best shooting night for a Warrior since Curry went off in Madison Square Garden last year, but Jackson pulled his starters out early with a massive lead.

This is just the first game out of the 82 that will be played this season, and we are yet to see the improvement Harrison Barnes has made as he enters his second NBA season.  It is not fair to Barnes to delegate him to the bench before he gets his chance to show what he can do.

However, Barnes does have his work cut out for him if Thompson can play consistently at the level he played on Wednesday night.