“I always thought I had fast feet,” he mentioned.
At the identical time, Thompson feels as if there are solely a few huge males who can overpower him within the put up. Among them: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, who, to be honest, trigger issues for everybody. Thompson recalled some of his sporadic encounters with the Greek Freak. He frowned.
“I could not figure him out,” Thompson mentioned.
But Antetokounmpo tends to be the exception. To present perception into his defensive strategy, Thompson agreed to assessment a clip of himself guarding Trey Lyles of the Denver Nuggets late within the common season. The play highlighted Thompson’s resourcefulness: After getting switched onto the 6-foot-10, 234-pound Lyles, Thompson bullied him thus far off the low block that Lyles needed to take an entry cross a half-step contained in the Three-point line.
“Look how far out he caught that,” Thompson mentioned. “If he catches it in the post, big difference.”
Lyles tried to again his method down towards the basket through the use of his dribble, however Thompson held his floor. Lyles finally uncorked a spin transfer that appeared born of desperation and was whistled for touring. Thompson celebrated by pumping his fist.
“There’s no way he’s strong enough to put me all the way under the basket,” Thompson mentioned. “But I couldn’t have done that six years ago.”
Ron Adams, an assistant coach for the Warriors, nonetheless sees areas the place Thompson can develop — particularly as a rebounder and as an off-the-ball defender. Like many gamers, Adams mentioned, Thompson often lets his focus lapse. But in one-on-one conditions, he is tenacious.
“He’s one those guys who’s really engaged when he’s on the ball,” Adams mentioned. “He loves the challenge of stopping someone.”