Jason Thompson‘s game isn’t flashy. It isn’t showy.
It’s just reliable.
Now in his fifth season, Thompson is the Kings’ second-longest tenured player. And in each of those five years, he’s always seemed to add a new skill to his repertoire.
Among the abilities Thompson has added this season: shot blocking. The Kings power forward is averaging a block per contest, which is a feat he hasn’t accomplished since the 2009-10 season. Thompson’s shot blocking makes him a perfect complement for DeMarcus Cousins, who is currently more skilled at drawing charges than swatting shots.
Offensively, the Kings power forward continues to follow the path he set forth on last year. He became more judicious with his shot selection, opting to focus on scoring around the basket rather than settle for outside jumpers. According to NBA.com, 67.5 percent of his 166 total shots have been attempted around the rim. On shots less than eight feet from the basket, Thompson is shooting 58.9 percent on 66-of-112 attempts.
The starting power forward has also taken a complete 180 with his free-throw shooting. After avergaging a career low 60.2 percent from the line last season, Thompson has upped that percentage by roughly 17 points. This year, he’s shooting 77.6 percent from the charity stripe, which is a career-high.
The 26-year-old power forward is also staying on the floor much longer than he has in recent seasons. Thompson is one of just three Kings to average at least 30 minutes a game through the Kings’ first 19 contests. His 30.5 minutes per contest is a testament to his value to the Kings, considering Keith Smart‘s distribution of playing time.
Watch the video below to hear Thompson talk about some of the improvements he’s made in his game.