Position-Based Offseason Grades

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Which Position Has Improved The Most?

5%
Point Guard
1
No votes
Shooting Guard
79%
Small Forward
15
16%
Power Forward
3
No votes
Center

Total votes: 19

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Posts: 13751
» Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:33 pm
Alright, Warrior Faithful.

At a summer's end that included switching franchise tags, overhauling the bench, and bringing in some much needed toughness, Chris Mullin finally seems done tweaking with a Golden State roster that looks nearly unrecognizable from the playoff-less bunch booted out of the post-season hunt mere weeks ago. Following months (or, for the super-faithful, years) of fretting on whether or not we'd be able to keep our young studs, Mully-and-Co. has inked Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis to longterm deals. Hell, he even threw Kelenna a bone. Not only that, but Mullin made calculated, conscious personel decisions with reprocussions being an increased role for several young players, most notably being Brandan Wright. Emphatically, Chris Mullin has set forth the next stage in his grand scheme as Vice President of Basketball Operations by boldly placing the largest amount of emphasis on the Warriors young bodies... so surely, in fact, that Baron Davis (the unquestionable face of last year's Golden State squad) wasn't even offered a lowball amount to stay in Oakland. The long-term plan has started and Warriors fans have a lot to be excited about. What follows is a position-by-position breakdown of where Golden State's roster is now, compared to last season. I look forward to hearing all of your feedback:

Position-Based Offseason Grades

1. Point Guard

Additions: Marcus Williams (NJN)
Losses: Baron Davis (LAC), Troy Hudson (Ret.)
Outcome: Negative (-)
Description: Despite the early hype surrounding Monta Ellis' debut at point guard, not to mention the oozing potential saturating Marcus Williams, it would be a lie to claim that Golden State won't miss Baron Davis next season. The decision to let Davis walk was an admitted step backwards in order to take two steps forward. Despite being all-star caliber, Baron had not made the team since 2003, was being paid a franchise-player's salary, always seemed to sit 20 games out of the year, had the ability to turn his talent on and off whenever he felt like it, and provided a poor image for Golden State's young core to model themselves after. While no one on the Warriors next year will give Nellie 22 and 8 like Davis did, it's worth mentioning that his offensive production can be amply replaced by the Ellis/Williams platoon... which may prove more effective than the lopsided Davis/Watson duo last year. Nevertheless, Monta Ellis is a natural shooting guard starting at the point for lack of a better option. No one would claim that this situation was Golden State's ideal way to deal with Davis' inevitable departure.

2. Shooting Guard

Additions: Anthony Morrow (Georgia Tech)
Losses: Mickael Pietrus (ORL)
Outcome: Even (=)
Description: Nobody is crying themselves to sleep over losing Mickael Pietrus... but, then again, nobody's hitching the franchise tag on Anthony Morrow either. The biggest news regarding the shooting guard spot would undoubtably be Golden State's decision to match the Clippers' offer to Kelenna Azubuike. This move proves that the backup 2 spot is up for grabs and not inherantly headed to Marco Belinelli, like everyone thought last year. It also shows that players who work hard under Chris Mullin's flagship get rewarded with a paycheck. Azubuike spent most of the past 2 seasons under the radar, but when another team swooped in to steal him, the Warriors showed that his contributions had not gone unnoticed. Finally, the improvements of the 2-guard spot are also indirectly addressed by additions to other positions. Corey Maggette can play the 2, as can Stephen Jackson, and both men stand to average over 35 minutes in Nelson's system. Not only that, but if Marcus Williams impresses people at point guard, we may see Monta Ellis slide back up to his natural starting spot by midseason. Marco Belinelli will probably see the same kind of minutes that he saw last year, as his improvement has not been nearly as drastic as Golden State's other youngsters. Overall, the loss of Pietrus does nothing to hurt the Warriors stock... and adding versatility never hurt anybody either.

3. Small Forward

Additions: Corey Maggette (LAC), Anthony Randolph (LSU)
Losses: Matt Barnes (PHO)
Outcome: Positive (+)
Description: Matt Barnes will forever be a Warrior. The guy's tough postseason series against Dallas, not to mention huge contributions during Golden State's season-ending run in 2007, earned him a spot in the hearts of every Bay Area fan. That being said, Barnes was a wasted roster spot last season; too small to play the 4 and, suddenly, looking too unskilled to play the 3. As with Pietrus, his loss is nothing significant. In fact, one could argue that his big minutes last season were a mistake to begin with. Anthony Randolph resembles Lamar Odom, an ideal Nellieball player that Warriors fans have lusted after for years. Since he's a big man that doesn't primarily play inside, he should see regular minutes from Nellie all year. Corey Maggette was Mullin's big fish of the offseason. He'll average over 20 points and 6 rebounds again, becoming a fan favorite (not to mention a one-man highlight reel). Taking out nonfactors like Barnes and Pietrus in exchange for productive players is a big, big positive. The swingman position is undoubtably the biggest upgrade of the offseason. Golden State's run-and-gun offense just added more state-of-the-art firepower.

4. Power Forward

Additions: Richard Hendrix (Alabama),
Losses: Chris Webber (Ret.), Austin Croshere (F/A),
Outcome: Positive (+)
Description: Another addition-by-subtraction spot; 2008-'09 will see Don Nelson finally submit to his hesitance of playing younger big men. No longer will the Warriors waste time trying to squeeze rent-a-player production out of Chris Webber or Austin Croshere. No more will Nellie be forced to play 3/4's of a game small due to Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus being his favorite options at backup 4. Finally, Brandan Wright will be given his moment to prove himself. Warriors fans are still heavily split regarding the outcome of Brandan Wright's draft-day-deal for Jason Richardson... however, the one thing Warriors fans could all agree on last year was that BWright deserved a closer look. And now Nellie will have no choice but to give a young guy a look in the frontcourt. Behind Al Harrington, you have two options now: lengthy Brandan Wright, who has a knack for making plays and being in the right place... and bruising Richard Hendrix, who'll bring a Brandan Bass, Paul Milsapp energy to Golden State. I think Warriors fans would take Wright and Hendrix's young production over the crippled combo of Chris Webber's knee and Austin Croshere's back.

5. Center

Additions: Roni Turiaf (LAL)
Losses: Patrick O'Bryant (BOS)
Outcome: Positive (+)
Description: As it stands, Golden State might lose another player at center before the season starts: the 7'2" Kosta Perovic, who flustered Shaq and Andrew Bogut in limited spurts last season. Despite flashes of what might someday seem like promise, Perovic was another wasted roster spot in Golden State. The second biggest addition of the offseason was landing 6'10", 250 lb Roni Turiaf to play in Golden State. The addition of Turiaf gives Nelson another big-bodied center who can run the floor with our offense. Roni's impact will not only be on his own behalf, but on behalf on Andris Biedrins as well. Too many times last year would the Warriors bury themselves early on a couple quick AB fouls; taking their center out of the game and forcing them to smallball their way into the 2nd quarter. Now, Nellie can pull Biedrins without reserve, as Turiaf is always among the league-leaders in blocks per 40 and rebounds for bench players. This could also give Biedrins the freedom to play more aggressively, shutting down opposing 5's without any fear of leaving Golden State short should he pick up early PFs. Along with the 3, center is one of the most drastically upgraded positions of the offseason.

So that's it, people. I give Golden State 3 upgraded positions and only 1 spot worse off than before. Agree? Disagree?
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Posts: 5705
» Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:57 pm
I would say that our best position upgrade is at small forward. Replacing Barnes and Pietrus for Maggette is a huge upgrade.

I would rank our upgrades like this:

1) Small Forward
2) Center
3) Power Forward
4) Shooting Guard
5) Point Guard
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Posts: 1143
» Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:04 pm
damn, I had no idea we got Anthony Morrow. Didn't see a thread on it.
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Posts: 9163
» Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:19 pm
Nice post. I agree, though.

Point guard definitely is a downgrade, but it's risk they had to take if they were going to move on with the future. Monta isn't going to give you the assists that Baron gave... although, Baron did have the ball the MAJORITY of the time when the offense was being ran, so we don't know what Monta can do now that he has the ball. But those results are scary, he could easily average 25-26 ppg now. Monta also showed some flashes of PG skills with his passing. Maybe now with the ball more, he can show that off as well. For now, it's a downgrade at PG. But in time, we'll see the TRUE result.

Not much to say about the shooting guard position. You got Jack starting with Morrow, Azubuike, and Belinelli behind him. So it's really a toss-up for the future at that position. Azubuike is the most likely candidate to come up first off the bench at SG, though.

We all know what Maggette will bring at the swing position. On and off the court, it's an upgrade. We saw a preview of what Randolph can do, and what he could become... so I'd expect minutes this season. We'll miss Barnes' toughness and state of mind to continue play even after the whistle is blown, but it's time to move on.

Straight on with the power forward position. Definitely will take Hendrix's big, high energy body and Wright's potential over those two injured vets.

And of course, center. Turiaf adds so much on the court and so much on the bench. Now that we have him, Biedrins won't get banged up so much, anymore.
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Role Player
Posts: 229
» Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:02 pm
Great Post 32!

I voted SF with C a close second. Maggete and Randolph are going to be fun to watch. Besides fouls, AB tends to wear down with excessive minutes. It's going to be nice seeing Ronny bang for awhile.

I'm really happy with this offseason. While I don't see GSW winning 48 this year, I don't see them losing 48 either. While BD unexpectedly forced the Warriors to transition, it was time to make a run at something better. I don't find any solace in being a 7th or 8th seed for a couple years then fizzling back into consistent lottery status.
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Posts: 18315
» Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:55 am
Cool. Finally a good thread in this dull period of the offseason.

I do agree with most of your post, 32. We've clearly improved at SF, where we're much deeper and oozing talent (heck, we might be one of the deepest teams at SG/SF). And I also agree at the C spot, where we've replaced POB, who was a non-factor, with a serviceable backup C like Turiaf, who's proven to be a good role player in this league. That's gonna be a big help for Beans.

As for the other positions... well, we'll have to wait and see what happens at PF (although it hardly can get any worse than last year, with C-Webb, Barnes, Pietrus, Al and all that committee approach). I'm curious about the role Brandan Wright is gonna play in this team, that's gonna be one of the keys of next season.

And, finally, PG, where we're clearly worse than last year. Let's remember we've lost one of the top PGs of the league, and it's not easy to replace that kind of player. We'll see what happens there, because Monta looks to me like a SG more than a PG and Marcus Williams has talent but also was a bit of a disappointment in NJ. We're not short of options, tho, and if one of them is able to carry the team, we're talented enough to make noise in the next few years.
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All Star
Posts: 1099
» Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:31 am
for me its

1. Small forward

2. Shooting guard

3. Center

4. Power forward

5. Point guard

Small forward is obvious but I think people overlook our growth at shooting guard. Monta was great last year, however with jackson starting now we have a lot more size, defense, and shooting at the position. At the same time we still get Monta's contributions at point guard and even if he struggles as a playmaker, jackson has proven to be an underrated playmaker in the past.

Rookie
Posts: 139
» Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:39 pm
All your grades per position are spot on, but some things weren't fully accounted for. You have to think about how Nellie didn't really put those people into those positions at all times.

Pietrus and Barnes could have played SG-PF. So let's just say that we combine the players that can play those positions. For example:

Peitrus, Barnes

for

Morrow, Randolph, Maggette

All we're missing is Webber and Croshere who really didn't do much anyways and Hendrix who is replacing the two older players.

Anyways, let's focus on this equation: Peitrus/Barnes = Morrow, AR, Magg.

Let's compare them first at the 2. Our scoring is way better than that of the original lineup because Peitrus/Barnes couldn't hit their threes and jumpers. With Maggs, Morrow and AR, it's a whole different story. They will be lighting up the score board.

On D, it's hard to say. I initially wanted to say that Peitrus/Barnes were way better at defending than the trio of Morrow/Magg/AR. Our new trio sucks at D, but last year Peitrus/Barnes were sucking it up to. The duo was still by all means better at D at the 2 spot than the new guys, but just not by as much as I originally thought.

For the SG spot: big +
mainly because these guys are our main scorers (sans Ellis and Jack, both of which will be at the 2 anyways). On D they will make up for it by having the extra person on the bench to sub in when whoever is playing starts to wear down.

At the SF spot is where everyone shines. It's very close in grading on this spot when comparing the two groups. The offense picks up for both squads but again, the new age lineup has the advantage. On D, I would have to say that Peitrus/Barnes has the advantage. This is mainly because they are just great defenders, and when put into a natural position, I'm sure that they would be able to live up to expectations. For Morrow/Magg/AR, we've all seen that the last two can't really play D.

For the SF spot: =
Offense and defense balance out mainly because we've all seen what they can do at their natural positions.

Now comes the PF position. Peitrus/Barnes played this part well, but we all saw that it was a total mismatch. The Bigs at the 4 were just too much for them to handle. Also, neither could really score on the inside against bigger opponents. They could space them out to the line, but again, they weren't hitting their threes.

As for the new-age guys, Randolph would be in the same situation, but he would have one extra factor: length. Minus his experience though and they kind of cancel out. On O though, AR would take the PF so hard and abuse him all day (most likely).

Maggs would have fared a lot better than Peitrus/Barnes at the 4 because of his strength. Yes, he doesn't play D, but you don't really have to chase PF's around all that much. You just really stand there and take hits. Same goes for Magg's O as AR's.

Morrow is the odd man out. If played at the 4 he would be horribly under sized. But look at Pietrus, he was only 6-6 and he played PF a lot. Just shows you how much Nellie likes his mismatches. I'm not saying that Morrow has the same D skills at Air France, but he can somewhat match up. Of D he would be a huge subraction, but c'mon, people were once saying that we should play Buike at the 4 and he's just as small. On the other end though, he would draw out the D so much with his shooting that they might just have to either leave a man open to come help or play small ball with us.

In the end at the 4 spot: regular +
Better strength, length, speed, ball handling and shooting outweigh defensive skills and awareness and experience. Both sides are athletic so that's nul.

All in all a big+, =, and a +.

Now factor in the legit PF's of Hendrix vs. Croshere/Webber. Huge +

From this I think that our 2-4 spots are a lot more covered in the sense of depth than in the previous year, and a lot more skilled than what we previously had.

It may be confusing and long, but I'm sure that some of you may get my drift.

Damn I always seem to f*cking write essays every time i post...
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» Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:53 am
Well, when addressing who we aquired and who we lost, I put everyone at their natural position. Sure, Matt Barnes could play the 2 through the 4 for Nellie (and occasionally the 5 :banghead:), but he was definitely a small forward. A 6'7", perimeter-based, scrappy, do-a-little-bit-of-everything SF.

And the reason that I grouped them into positions is because I'm tired of hearing the BD/Barnes/Pietrus vs Maggs/Randolph/Turiaf debate. This is an intagible argument that nobody can prove until everyone on the roster see's floortime together. Chemistry is impossible to estimate... and production isn't much easier when you change around half the roster. I think the most faithful way of comparing our additions and subtractions this offseason is by position.

And, with that being said, who else is intruiged by the plethora of options we now have at PF? Previously thought as our weakest, thinnest position, I think we're now covered 4 or 5 layers deep. Think about it: you start Harrington, knowing that if somebody else outperforms him, he could end up on the bench. Brandan Wright is the stud that everyone will look at... and bet your ass he'll be starting by midseason. If Nellie wants to smashmouth the other team, both Turiaf and Biedrins are natural 4's outside of Golden State, not to mention Richard Hendrix (officially, the strongest dude in a Warrior uni... yes, over Roni... book it). And if Nellie wants to go super small (Nellie??? Go small?!???), Anthony Randolph is 6'10". Stephen Jackson is 6'8". The possibilities are pretty much endless.

PG - Monta Ellis / Marcus Williams / CJ Watson
SG - Stephen Jackson / Kelenna Azubuike / Marco Belinelli / Anthony Morrow
SF - Corey Maggette / Anthony Randolph
PF - Al Harrington / Brandan Wright / Richard Hendrix
C - Andris Biedrins / Roni Turiaf /

Mix and match that lineup however you want and something sick will come out. Team not passing well? Wanna get the ball moving? Zing:

PG - Marcus Williams
SG - Monta Ellis
SF - Stephen Jackson
PF - Anthony Randolph
C - Al Harrington

Not rebounding well? Wanna crash the glass? Fear:

PG - Monta Ellis
SG - Kelenna Azubuike
SF - Brandan Wright
PF - Andris Biedrins
C - Roni Turiaf

Need shooters? Bam:

PG - CJ Watson
SG - Stephen Jackson
SF - Corey Maggette
PF - Anthony Randolph
C - Al Harrington

Defense?

PG - CJ Watson
SG - Kelenna Azubuike
SF - Stephen Jackson
PF - Andris Biedrins
C - Roni Turiaf

Last year, we couldn't rebound and couldn't play defense. This year, we literally have a lineup for anything. Its gonna be friggin baller.
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Posts: 3040
» Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:22 pm
detailed, thorough and thoughtful, 32.

I'll be brief:

PG - downgrade
Of course Monta is a stud, but he needs to prove himself at PG, so right now, not remotely debatable that it is a downgrade to lose BD, as mixed as his results were towards the end
SG - even
(unless Beli and Azu blow up, which could happen, then definite upgrade)

SF - upgrade (significant)
post up game and 10 free throws a game...major upgrade, not to mention Randolph
PF - like it - Turiaf, Hendrix and Wright with Al?..big move
C - upgrade, but not sure how much yet, but a real plus that Turiaf can play the 5.

The team looks deeper and better in every position except PG...
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All Star
Posts: 2341
» Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:44 pm
Agreed, PG is our biggest question mark. That and chemistry.

Damn 32!
Very well thought out. I dig the situational/lineup breakdowns.
While I think you are spot on, I bet we'll see a lot more of Corey, if he's producing, in some of those lineups at first.
Also, Hendrix could potentially fit in nicely on the rebounding/defensive lineups if someone is off or in foul trouble.

I'm always impressed by your ability to break it down.
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Hall of Famer
Posts: 18315
» Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:56 am
I'm not worried about chemistry. We're so young that the team won't have trouble finding that chemistry. There are no big egos in our roster, and Nellie won't allow that to happen. He's the real leader of the team.
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Posts: 2341
» Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:10 pm
TMC wrote:I'm not worried about chemistry. We're so young that the team won't have trouble finding that chemistry. There are no big egos in our roster, and Nellie won't allow that to happen. He's the real leader of the team.


I hear you. We don't really have any super huge egos on the squad. And as professionals, they should be expected to handle that aspect of things with ease.
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Posts: 67
» Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:12 pm
Speaking about egos, I think that Jax and Mags can do some trouble if we don't give them enough minutes.
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Posts: 5705
» Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:30 pm
themind wrote:Speaking about egos, I think that Jax and Mags can do some trouble if we don't give them enough minutes.


I doubt their playing time will be a concern. They are the two best players on the team. The guy that may be screwed for minutes is Azuibuike. You figure that we have a little backlog at the SG/SF spot, and Buike may be paying for it.

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