LA Lakers fans are feeling confident heading into Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors, despite Klay Thompson’s reputation for delivering huge performances during Game 6s. The defending champions managed to stay alive in the playoffs with a 121-107 win in Game 5, thanks in large part to Steph Curry’s 27 points, three rebounds, and eight assists. However, Lakers fans are calling bluff on Thompson’s ability to deliver a game-changing performance, with one fan even dubbing “Game 6 Klay” as one of the biggest lies in NBA history.
In contrast, Warriors fans are excited about the possibility of Thompson delivering a big performance in Game 6. Thompson has played in 14 Game 6s during his postseason career, averaging 20.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.0 steals. While these numbers are not particularly impressive, Thompson has delivered several huge Game 6 performances during his career. His most famous Game 6 performance came in the 2016 Western Conference finals against the OKC Thunder, where he dropped 41 points and made 11 3-point shots to save the Warriors’ season.
Thompson’s most recent Game 6 was against the Sacramento Kings in the first round of this year’s playoffs, where he had 22 points but struggled with his shot. However, when looking at Thompson’s Game 6 performances when the Warriors are down 3-2 since 2016, he’s averaging 35.3 points and 8 3-point shots made in three games. He’s also shooting 64.0% from beyond the arc. While it may be a small sample size, Thompson has shown that he plays great in a Game 6 when the Warriors are down 3-2.
It’s worth noting that Thompson had nine points in Game 6 against the LA Clippers in 2014, but that was before “Game 6 Klay” was born. If Thompson didn’t injure his knee in 2019, he might have even had a better performance in that game.
While Lakers fans may be skeptical about Thompson’s ability to deliver in Game 6, they have reason to be confident in their team’s ability to finish the job. LeBron James has been playing at an incredibly high level, averaging 23.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game in the playoffs. Anthony Davis has also been playing well, averaging 20.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.
In addition, the Lakers have several key role players who have stepped up in the playoffs. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been shooting the ball well from beyond the arc, averaging 41.7% on 5.3 attempts per game. Alex Caruso has been a defensive stalwart, while Dennis Schroder has provided scoring off the bench.
Ultimately, Game 6 will come down to which team can execute their game plan better. The Warriors will need a big performance from Thompson if they hope to force a Game 7, while the Lakers will need to continue playing at a high level on both ends of the court. Fans on both sides will be eagerly watching to see who comes out on top.