While the Golden State Warriors were well represented on the All-NBA teams, it’s possible that at least one man was snubbed. Draymond Green, who was voted All-NBA third team, was not happy about the complete omission of Klay Thompson.
“I think it’s bulls***,” Green said, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes in an unedited tweet.
Thompson did receive 14 votes, but that fell short of earning third-team honors.
Green is right to stick up for his teammate. That’s rarely ever a problem. But, is his case valid?
Thompson was All-NBA third team a season ago and put up a strikingly similar season. His percentages were slightly down, but Thompson still managed to shoot 46.8 percent from the field (compared to 47 percent last year), 41.4 percent on threes (compared to 42.5 percent in 2016), and 85.3 percent from the line (compared to 87.3 percent a season ago). Despite the slight dips, his points per game actually slightly increased, going from 22.1 to 22.3.
When considering all of that, we also must remember that Thompson is a strong defender. While Green sometimes takes the assignment, Thompson is generally tasked with guarding the opposition’s best perimeter player.
So, from that respect, Green has a point.
But pointing out a snub is one thing. Calling it B.S., though, is a slightly different issue. If Thompson’s omission was B.S., we have to ask whose place he should have taken.
That’s where things get tough.
It’s hard to argue with Russell Westbrook and James Harden as first-team guards, especially given that these are regular season awards. If not for the remarkable seasons enjoyed by Westbrook and Harden, Isaiah Thomas and Thompson’s fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry would have made for a formidable first team. As it is, they had to settle for second team.
John Wall and DeMar DeRozan rounded out the All-NBA guards. If Thompson was snubbed, one of those two has to go.
Wall isn’t quite the shooter that Thompson is, but he actually averaged more points per game (23.1), while adding 10.7 assists. Like Wall, DeRozan’s shooting doesn’t stack up to Thompson’s, but he averaged 27.3 points per game.
Additionally, Wall’s team won 49, while DeRozan’s won 51. Granted, Thompson’s won 67, but the Warriors are stacked. Green was a third-team All-NBA forward, while Curry and Kevin Durant were both second-team players.
It was always going to be hard to recognize all four. As great as Thompson is, he is also the natural odd man out. There’s no problem in Draymond sticking up for his teammate and objectively, Thompson had a stellar season. But breaking it down, it’s not hard to see how he was omitted.