OAKLAND -- Warriors guard Klay Thompson did everything he could to appear "fine" after another rough performance. He shrugged his shoulders, kept a straight face, talked matter-of-factly.
But when asked about the potential game-winner he missed in Monday's win over Dallas, his facade cracked.
"That one hurt," he said, wincing as if his bricked 3-pointer with 16 seconds left just replayed in his head. "It didn't feel like it was good. It felt off to the right."
It was the most recent example of Thompson's struggles this young season, one that has raised the question: What happened to Thompson's shot?
It's been a steady diet of bricks since his meltdown in the home loss to Denver on Nov. 10, in which he was 9 of 26 shooting and made a crucial mistake down the stretch that contributed to the defeat.
In the four games since that Denver game, after which Thompson reportedly left the arena in his uniform, Thompson is shooting 23.4 percent from the field. He's made just three of his past 20 from 3-point range (15 percent).
Thompson has gotten a lot of good looks, no doubt. But many of his shots have seemed forced -- 3-pointers early in the shot clock, well-defended pull-ups, head-down drives to the basket.
He said he's been through a slump like this before, during his sophomore season at Washington State. How he got out of that is how he said he plans to get out of his current slump, which has him shooting 33 percent from the field so far this season. He shot 44.3 percent from the field as a rookie last season, 41.4 percent from 3-point range.
"Keep shooting," he said. "It's all mental. You can't let it get to you. These first 11 games, I haven't been making shots, but I'm all right. I'll be fine."
What Thompson didn't say is that he's been taking extra practice shots, even more than the 100 or so he usually takes. He's been known to shoot in the evening at the team's facility. In practice, according to several, he appears to be the usual Thompson, which is why few are concerned.
But what if Thompson's woes are more mental than technical? What if he's thinking too much, forcing it too much, or even doubting himself? What if Thompson's struggles are because he's not as good under the pressure of meaningful games and with opposing scouts keying on how to stop him?
The thought of that is laughable to coach Mark Jackson.
"He's a different creature," said Jackson, who said he won't take any extra measures such as getting a shooting coach or assigning film sessions. "He's a great shooter. He's going to be fine. Even great shooters go through tough stretches."
Jackson said Thompson proved Jackson's point with the late 3-pointer he missed in Dallas. That Thompson had the confidence to take that shot was reassuring to Jackson. He did say he told Thompson that the smartest thing in that situation, with the shot clock turned off, was to hold the ball for the last shot.
Jackson said it's that confidence that will get Thompson through his shooting woes. He said Thompson's performance in other areas -- defense, especially -- means he's not being overtaken by his shooting woes. Jackson said it was Thompson's defense that forced Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, who had been hot, to give up the ball and led to the all-important defensive stop on Dallas' final possession of regulation.
Thompson said he's making a concerted effort to not let his poor shooting affect the other areas of the game. But he is a shooter, and it stands to reason missing shots doesn't sit well with him. However, he's doing his best to not let it.
Sitting in the near-empty visiting locker room in Dallas, Thompson zipped up his jacket, paused and took a deep breath while trying to find the right words to explain why he's not concerned.
"My shot got me here. It's not going to abandon me now," Thompson said, rubbing his hands on his legs as if to wipe off his shooting funk. "I'll be fine. I'll be fine."
During the Warriors' three-game trip, Bogut was in Los Angeles receiving treatment under the supervision of Dr. Richard Ferkel. Bogut is back in the Bay Area and expected to run on a treadmill.
Brooklyn (6-2) at Warriors (6-5), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA