OAKLAND –- Klay Thompson wanted to clarify a matter that may be forming the minds of those observing this Warriors-Grizzlies Western Conference semifinals series.
Memphis defensive ace Tony Allen is not in his head.
Asked about that notion after practice Thursday, Thompson went silent, wincing and rolling his eyes.
"You know what I think now? That's all I've got to say," he finally said. "In my head? Come on, man."
Which is not to say Thompson's skull has not been a hive of activity. For a full 36 hours, he rewound and reviewed his unsatisfying individual performance in Tuesday night's Game 2 loss to Memphis.
Meanwhile, the Warriors coaching staff was doing the same thing. Except the coaches also included Thompson's teammates, none of whom distinguished themselves as the Grizzlies evened the series at one game apiece.
"We showed him a few things on tape, just like we showed everybody," coach Steve Kerr said Thursday, after the team spent more than two hours studying video and practicing on the court.
There was much to see, certainly for Thompson. He shot poorly (13 points on 6-of-15, 1-of-6 from deep) and, worse, he committed five turnovers -– most of them out of impatience. The Warriors fell behind early, and at times it appeared Thompson decided, on his own, that he would lead the comeback.
He stands corrected. Thompson realizes he too often forgot about the principles of the offense, the flowing ball movement and the crisp, basic passes. He was chief among the Warriors caught up in one-on-one action, trying to make something good happen, rather than allow something great to develop.
"That’s what I saw today watching film," Thompson said. "So in the future, just make the simple play."
That's what Kerr and associate head coach (and offensive coordinator) Alvin Gentry have been preaching since training camp opened in September. The offense as designed is a paragon of simplicity, with only defenses getting confused.
Going rogue within the system is like putting a teaspoon of oil in a glass of fine wine.
"You've got to do it on the pass," Kerr said. "It has to come from offensive flow, movement, spacing, that kind of stuff. That's kind of who we are. That's what our team is, anyway. It's nothing more than just getting back to our identity."
Kerr says he expects Thompson to bounce back, and history supports that belief. Thompson goes through dry spells, but he recovers well and punishes opponents.
"To beat this team, you've got to get great shots," Thompson said. "We practiced a lot today just on the basics, on the fundamentals of our offense. And we're just trying to make it simple for us out there come Saturday."