Balls: Warriors' hopes in hands of Klay 

Raise your hand you if had Klay Thompson in the X-Factor pool at the start of the postseason.

Well, you’re not alone.

It seemed a lot of people figured the Warriors would go about as far as Thompson took them in the postseason. On Tuesday, he took them right down the trash chute, not that he acted alone. It was hard to tell which was worse — his nine bricks in 15 field-goal tries against the Memphis Grizzlies or the fact that he was overwhelmed by the moment far too often.

“It has to be a case where we put the ball on the floor, move it on, move it again, set a screen and now we’ll be open,” said Kerr, who refused to name names when asked about Thompson specifically. “ Because no defense is faster than a pass, and I thought we tried to do too much off the dribble.”

Nobody was more desperate than Thompson, a fact never more apparent than in one six-second sequence in the second quarter. Early in the shot clock, he threw up a trick shot off one leg from two feet beyond the arc. After an offensive rebound, he somehow missed a reverse dunk that the defense had conceded moments later.

Like any volume shooter, Thompson has a clunker every so often. He had one against the New Orleans Pelicans in the first game of the playoffs. It’s just that he can’t have two in a row, or else the Warriors may be in lots of trouble.

THEY SAID, HE SAID: Mike Conley was jaw-dropping good in Game 2 after a nine-day layoff, but let’s not forget Grizzlies menace Tony Allen, as hard as that is for Warriors fans to do right now.

Allen put his stamp on Thompson and Stephen Curry, and he wouldn’t let anyone forget it, either. “First-team All-Defense!” he was heard to shout on more than one occasion.

After Allen interrupted a Junior Jam Squad routine in the series opener, Warriors supporters had a better chant.

“Allen hates kids! Allen hates kids!”

RECYCLED BARRY: And for his next stunt, Barry Bonds will help ruin another sport.

Bonds is heavily involved in cycling, which has been every bit as dirty as Major League Baseball in recent years. The ex-Giant said cycling saved his life after retirement from baseball and he even contributed a reported $104,800 to the cause. Hey, that may not sound like much, but for the ultimate me-first guy, it’s a small fortune.

Bonds is the last person that cycling needs right now, although he and Lance Armstrong do make a lovely couple, Balls has to admit.

CONGRATS, SAY HEY KID: Happy 84th to Giants legend Willie Mays, the greatest living player in major-league history.

Balls just wished New York Yankees loser Alex Rodriguez would have passed Mays with his 661st career home run on Wednesday. Can you think of a better way to remember a milestone homer by one of the biggest frauds in sports history?

JUST SAYIN’: After Rodriguez tied him on the all-time homer list the other day, Mays issued this statement: “Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 660th home run. Milestones in baseball are meant to be broken, and I wish him continued success throughout his career.”

What Balls would have said: “I refuse to acknowledge any achievement by a lousy, no-good PED user. Milestones are meant to be broken, but not by bloated egos who put their own selfish interests ahead of the integrity of the game.”

YOUR TURN: “What frustrates me most is how many good players fail to make layups! They even miss slam dunks. I really enjoy the new look in The Examiner sports section. Maybe some day I’ll find out why golfers wear white belts [another forbidden topic].” — Brent Leonard, San Francisco

(To hold up their pants maybe? Either that or because their endorsement companies insist on it.)

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to pladewski@sfexaminer.com and you may get your name in the paper one day.
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