The Top 10 Issues for the 2013-'14 Warriors
10. Has Klay Thompson peaked?
When Thompson was a rookie, he was touted as having exceptional ball-handling skills and being an above-average passer, the implications being that Thompson would blossom into an option guy; a playmaker, so to speak - somebody who could get both his own shot and shots for other players. As a dead-eye three-point shooter, Thompson's scoring spoke for itself, but the rest of his game (the game Bob Fitzgerald claimed was only a year or two away) was what truly excited the fan-base. For if Thompson could be somebody that could carry an offense, the team wouldn't be in trouble should Stephen Curry roll one of his origami ankles and sit out for extended periods of time. Of course, this appears to be in stark contrast to Thompson's apparent role next year: as a gun, a spot-shooter, somebody far less valuable. Thompson's sophomore slump put him below the league-average in PER (12.7, down from 14.9 his rookie year - league average is 15.0) and Klay did nothing but drop further in the playoffs (down to 10.1). To put this into Warrior terms, Mike Dunleavy Jr (the nemesis of this forum between 2003-2007) has a career-low PER of 12.5 (his rookie and final years here) and is at 14.5 on his career. Thompson seems more like Dunleavy or Korver at this junction than Eric Gordon; the potential star New Orleans offered us at the deadline in exchange for Thompson (whose PER spiked to 18.5, then 19.2 before his injuries). And I'm not saying that - with the plethora of talent on this team - having a highly efficient outside shooter who defends above league-average is a bad thing; but I do believe most fans would err on the side of disappointed were they to admit to themselves that Klay Thompson has peaked as a stand-still outside shooter who doesn't drive nearly enough and needs a ball-handler to get the most out of his offensive game. This beckons the question: should Gordon bounce back and have a relatively healthy first-half, do the Warriors reopen those trade talks with New Orleans - who are building towards the future and may prefer a fresh start with a player who hasn't openly flirted with other franchises. The Warriors have Harrison Barnes waiting in the wings; meaning, they can take a chance on a guy like Gordon and relegate him to a 6th man role to preserve his health for the post-season. Fans who believe Thompson hasn't stopped growing will balk at this idea, but given Thompson's sudden decline in overall efficiency, dealing him while the iron is hot may be the best option for the team.
9. Who starts?
The general synopsis of the fan base thus far seems to have Harrison Barnes sliding to the bench to make way for Andre Iguodala... but is this move truly the most logical? Worshipers of Nellieball on a certain blog might insist that Bogut sit to play Lee at his "natural" position (center) while Barnes continues his tear as a stretch 4 - the only true advantage here might be the saving of Bogut's legs for the post-season. But then there are those Barnes enthusiasts that believe Klay Thompson is the one who should sit - arguing that Iggy is actually a shooting guard and not a 3... and since Thompson is the more confident scorer at this stage, it may be wiser to play him as the bench brigade's top gun, rather than putting the ball in Barnes' hands for a prolonged period of time. Complicating matters further are the rumblings of a David Lee trade, ultimately making way for Harrison Barnes as a full-time 4 - we'll get to that in another bullet-point. If one were to assemble the best 5 from this past season's efficiency ratings, it would include Curry (21.3), Iguodala (19.9 in the playoffs), Lee (19.2), Bogut (16.1 in the playoffs), and Harrison Barnes, whose 13.8 playoff PER out-shined Thompson's high of 12.7 over the regular season). Thompson's offensive win shares, block and steal percentages, and TS% give him a case against Barnes, but Barnes can claim the higher PER, rebounding rate, and comparable other stats besides a huge deficiency in usage rate compared to Thompson. It'll be interesting to see how Jackson juggles those two moving forward... but if I were to hazard a guess, I'd bet that Jackson favors Barnes over Klay at this point. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll start, though. The 5 with pyro introductions could include anybody and there's no one better suited for the task than Mark Jackson.
8. Harrison Barnes' ceiling
The great debate on Harrison Barnes ignited in round 1, opposite Denver, when an insertion of Jarrett Jack into the starting lineup for the injured Lee pushed Barnes to the power forward slot, a position where he found quick success attacking the 4's of Denver, most famously, former Warriors prospect, Anthony Randolph, who got his lunch money stolen by Barnes on a 180 slam that left spalding dented on the journeyman's forehead. What nobody seems to be discussing is why Harrison Barnes excelled at the 4 spot... and the sad truth is simply because power forwards weren't quick enough to expose Barnes' lack of NBA handles. The kid is a thunderous finisher with a body that most forwards would die for, but Harrison Barnes would do well to model his game after a recent Warrior who sparks negative memories on a first mention; I speak of Corey Maggette. Maggs was a splitting point for the franchise; he delivered points and close victories during the lean, nuclear winter following "We Believe," but his inefficient shooting and insistence upon firing beyond his range earned the rage of several former posters here (who also hated Jamal Crawford equally intensely, if not more). Barnes has an advantage that Maggette never had; he has 3-point range and can hit from either side (you'll recall, Maggette's midrange jumper was far more effective on his strong arm side). If Barnes can develop the handles that Maggette used, can incite contact with even a fraction of Maggette's savvy, and learn to exploit a mismatch as masterfully as Corey Maggette did (backing down 2's, shooting over 3's, driving past 4's), he'll become a star player in this league that puts up 19 points on an off-night. The Warriors need a guy who can HIT free-throws to get them into the bonus on a nightly basis; their two most frequent free-throw shooters (Iguodala and Bogut) stripe in the upper 50-percentile. If Barnes can develop handles and become a little more Maggette-esque - not simply against 4's, but also against smaller defenders - than he'll leapfrog from 6th man (or weak link of the starting 5) all the way up to the primary scoring option on offense. Look for Iguodala's addition to spark that transformation sooner than later, as Iggy seems to have appointed Barnes as his personal pet project in the coming years.
7. Does the team still lack isolation options?
To date, the best Warrior in terms of clearing a side and getting a bucket in man-to-man coverage - with the recent departure of Jarrett Jack - is now David Lee. But Lee's size and lack of explosiveness make his face-up game particularly more effective as a high or low post feed; were Lee to get the ball on a triple-threat from anywhere outside the arc, his handles (while good for a man his size) aren't capable of penetrating and taking him all the way to the cup. The Warriors team seems stacked with players that have parts of an isolation kit, but lack pieces to complete them and, therefore, have a particular kryptonite. With Curry and Thompson, it's simply lanky defenders with speed who can stay close to them and bother them with heavy contact. Bogut and Iguodala can't shoot, so teams back off. Lee, Barnes, and Speights lack the handles to beat most of their defenders. Tony Douglas, strangely enough, seems to be the player with the most tools (handles, jumper, in-between range), but his decision-making has kept him on the bench for most of his NBA career. The addition of a drive-and-kick swingman like Iggy, whose first step is substantially better than Curry or Thompson's, will do wonders for the transition offense, but at this stage in the game, it appears the Golden State Warriors are still on the lookout for someone to replace the aspect that Monta Ellis provided nearly 2 seasons ago. If you ask me, Andre Iguodala will take the reigns, but unless he's firing off a hot hand, teams will give him an abundance of space and dare him to shoot, which has been his Achilles heel. The word out of Denver was that Iggy's jumper improved drastically, compared to his time in Philadelphia. Time will tell... and if those rumors are indeed true, the Warriors' offensive problems in man-to-man coverage may very well be solved.
6. The potential backup center triangle
With the final departure of "We Believe's" sole remaining piece out of Oakland goes the inane wishful thinking of Andris Biedrins' potential for yet another chance at a bounce back year. In his place stands rookie Festus Ezeli, who overtook Biedrins on the depth charts the second David Stern said "Feh-". However, Ezeli underwent surgery to repair his knee after the playoffs and Golden State has since acquired 2 additional backup bigs to share center minutes when Andrew Bogut gets a breather. The obvious choice for backup center is 17-year veteran, Jermaine O'Neal, who - like so many others - went to Phoenix and found the fountain of youth. Prior to his time on the Suns' bench, O'Neal was in Boston looking flamed out. It'll be interesting to see which Jermaine shows up for the Warriors, but the one constant he's always had is an ability to block shots and, with the Warriors various offensive options, it wasn't likely that O'Neal was going to see many plays called for him on the low block anyway. 6'11" Mo Speights will be the best big man off the bench next year; acquired to replace the departing Landry, Speights - to many analysts' minds - is an upgrade from last season. His 2 inch advantage on Landry means Speights will likely enter the game as the initial backup center and play alongside David Lee for short spurts at a time. Lee, himself, is another candidate to play center when Bogut sits. When Ezeli returns, this gives you 5 men who can potentially play center in a pinch. The Warriors must hope Mark Jackson can find a way to keep all these guys happy with their minutes. Executed properly, this amount of depth gives Jackson the ability to play Bogut less than 30 minutes a night (preserving him for the post-season) and green-lighting all of his bigs to play Bad Boys style defense with no fear of running short on big bodies to play the pivot. The Warriors, a traditionally guard-oriented team, may have the best 4-5 depth in the entire league next season. For the former point guard who had the Davis brothers and Rick Smits backing him up in the front court, Mark Jackson seems to be the absolute gold glove for this roster and it'll be interesting to see who he appoints as his enforcer off the bench next year (the smart money says it'll be Speights).
5. How can they replace Jarrett Jack?
The short answer: they won't need to. Jack was handy last year because he gave the Warriors' starting lineup an additional playmaker who could take Steph Curry off the ball and get him shots out of the floppy set. Andre Iguodala will do everything, offensively, that Jack did - with the exception of long-range shooting, which the Warriors have a surplus of anyhow. I said it all year last season amidst the emotionally-attached mantra's of how indispensable Jack was: backup point guards are the easiest position to fill well. In years past, Warriors fans fell in love with CJ Watson. Then they believed Nate Robinson was a player that had to be retained. Last year, there was no way fans could conceivable allow Jarrett Jack to walk in the off-season. This year, fans will fall in love with Toney Douglas and make a bunch of claims about how key he is to the success of the roster. And, in all likelihood, Douglas will be gone before long and replaced with yet another capable backup. Jarrett Jack helped out last year, there's no doubt about that. But by early December, nobody will even miss him.
4. Does Andre Iguodala push this roster over the top?
If what I believe is true, the Golden State Warriors will be in the Conference Finals next season and, depending on the health of their roster, might sneak into the Finals. I have contested, for over a year now, that the Warriors were lacking a perimeter lock-down defender and an isolation option on offense who can be used as an additional playmaker. Andre Iguodala is one of 5 players in the entire league who could have addressed all of those issues single-handedly. Before the start of last season, I was petitioning for the Warriors to deal Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson for Iggy. Bob Myers found a way to acquire him without surrendering anything of immediate value and anytime you can acquire an all-star via free agency, without losing any starters in the process, your team has made a mammoth upgrade. In terms of roster-talent alone, disregarded the famed chemistry that pushed this team over the #3 seed in the playoffs, the Warriors are now the 4th best team in the Western Conference and can match up with any roster in the league, both offensively and defensively.
3. Is Lee on the way out?
The short answer is no. But to draw out the complicated issue at hand, here's why there's rumblings of a David Lee trade: Lee is on the bill until the 2017 season, as is Andre Iguodala, and Stephen Curry. Following this year (provided he proves he can stay healthy for the majority of a season), the Warriors will need to fund Andrew Bogut until at least 2017 as well. The reason Lee is being shopped is because Joe Lacob believes Harrison Barnes will be an all-star and he wants something that will expire before Lee's deal does. That's the reason the names being brought up (Andrea Bargnani, LaMarcus Alderidge) aren't very much cheaper; they simply expire quicker. Lacob has no issues with keeping Lee around, as he's a terrific front-man for the team, a first-rate vocal leader and example for the youngsters, and Lee's game speaks for itself in terms of what he brings in several categories (rebounding, low block scoring, transition offense, passing)... but this is just a case of Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, and the powers that be looking to avoid the consecutive-year luxury tax. The reason Lee won't be traded is because Lacob overvalues him (so he won't commit a sweetener to an Alderidge trade) and Jerry West won't let these ass clowns run with the mistaken notions that Harrison Barnes can be a full-time power forward (ridiculous). David Lee will be on the roster to start the year; the interesting parts will heat up around the trade deadline, when Myers flirts a Lee-Thompson package around the league to see what pops out on the other end... and if a name like Kevin Love comes down the pipe, don't look for this aggressive front office to hesitate.
2. How heavily can they rely on Andrew Bogut?
The first elephant in the room is, exactly, which Andrew Bogut shows up next season. The playoff Bogut was not only able to play more minutes and more consecutive games in a row, but the production on the floor was out of this world. His rebounding rate mirrored that of Moses Malone and Dennis Rodman, the defensive end of the floor was the Warriors' territory anytime Bogut was in close to turn shots away, and his quick start in Game 6 against Denver reopened Stephen Curry's offensive game after Denver shook him with heavy contact in game 5. The regular season Andrew Bogut was the best center in Oakland, no doubt... but he clearly wasn't the player so many of us have marveled at on past occasions. Whether or not Bogut can set huge, heavy screens... as opposed to picking up cheap fouls will be a question. Whether or not Bogut can turn away more than simply point-blank shots from smaller opponents will be a question. Whether the Bogut who couldn't finish over 5'10" Isiah Thomas shows up... or the man who pulled down on JaVale McGee shows up will be a major question. When Andrew Bogut is himself, he should be good for 11 or 12 points (1 or 2 from the free throw line, everything else inside the circle), 9 or 10 rebounds (and 6 more given to teammates while he boxes two men out), and at least 1 block (which could total up to 5 or 6, depending on how stubborn the opposition is). Last year, in the regular season, Bogut was a shadow of himself. The level of excellence he put up on the boards and in the paint in round 1 was just as valuable as the 3-pointers launched by his battery-mate, Stephen Curry. Which brings me to...
1. Stephen Curry encore
Just as valuable as the Bogut question is the Curry question: was Stephen Curry's season last year something we can expect on an annual basis or will Curry show a slight regression on the court? Curry was consistently healthy last year; giving him 3 nearly-full seasons (80, 78, 76) against his one injury-riddled campaign the year before last, where he played 26 games. Disregarding that short season, Curry established career-highs in nearly ever category last year, including points, assists, shot attempts, field goals, 3-pointers, 3-point percentage, free throw attempts, and minutes. This is a major issue because, in the NBA, the difference between 23 points (last season) and 18 points (Curry's previous high) is monstrous; as nearly every team can sport an 18-point per game player (sometimes 2) and 23 a night put Curry at 7th in the entire league in scoring per game. 29 players last season average 17 or more points, so Curry's additional 6 make him a commodity, particularly because he has become the NBA's premiere long-range bomber and his tendency to heat up and score bunches of points makes him one of the generational greats, like a Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, or Larry Bird, as opposed to the all-too-common gunners who make their living shooting 40% beyond the arc and contribute nothing else offensively. If Curry is indeed a 23-and-7 player who can compete for the 3-point crown every season, the Warriors can build around him. If he is an 18-and-5 guy, however, the Warriors are not nearly as deep and dangerous as previously thought. Warriors fans are simply taking a Curry encore for granted. The very notion that Curry does not measure up to last year throws a wrench in everything the Dubs are hoping to achieve this year.
Discuss anything related to Golden State Warriors basketball here
14 posts • Page 1 of 1
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
I would say that the health of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry is the most important issue.
Didn't get a chance to read everything. I will later.
From "we believe", to "we belong", to "we gon beatcho ass!"
Took me 3 different times to finish that whole book, so I don't expect many to finish it in one sitting either haha.
For me, Curry's health isn't a big question mark; he's had 3 healthy seasons and 1 short year. But last year, he took a big step from A-list prospect, putting up 17 and 5, to one of the league's premiere players, a top 3 at his position overall, and maintaining that level of play isn't exactly a given. Bogut, sure, I worry about him coming down wrong on something, but Curry... I'm more worried about teams adjusting, playing him physical, and turning him back into a dime-a-dozen 18-point guy. He's got the talent to keep playing big, but following up a great season like that can be tricky now that every team is planning out how to defend you a week before you come to town. Curry is a scorer who can single-handedly beat any team on any night. I expect him to be defended like a Carmelo Anthony now. Most teams are gonna play with the attitude that shutting down Curry turns the faucet off on Golden State. IMO, that's what makes Lee so valuable.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 12:29 pm
Poster Credit: 2
32, unbelievable well written piece on the dubs issues. You had me at "origami ankles".
Very valid points and of course, that's what makes the dubs so intriguing this year with all the variables after many off-season moves.
I actually think how AI fits should be a top 3 issue, maybe even #1, because an effective Andre translates into an effective curry/bogut. Andre is really the wildcard that will a) relieve the minutes steph has b) relieve the minutes bogut has and c) fills the dubs needs in multiple ways being a lockdown defender, being able to handle the rock, and being able to push klay and Barnes to improve.
I agree with your points, but I'd argue that the uncertainty of the top 3 issues is why they outrank Iggy.
Essentially, the Warriors know what they're getting out if Iguodala. He's a glue guy, he plays full seasons every year, he creates phenomenal chemistry, etc.
But the Warriors aren't sure if Bogut will give them what he gave them in the playoffs. They don't know if Curry can replicate last year's tremendous showing. And the possibility of downgrading Lee to shed his contract can so nothing but hurt the overall product.
IMO, Iggy is one of the few sure players the Dubs can count on next year.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
I think this whole line of reasoning has struck a nerve with people here.
Not in the typical, "No way that happens! Are you high?" type manner... more along the lines of "Holy sh*t, I don't even wanna think about it". The fan base has reenforced their nerves regarding Curry having a injury; half of us are borderline expecting a turned ankle purely because we hope that by expecting it, we're putting the reverse-whammy on him and absolving him from bad luck by anticipating his misfortune. In a weird equation we haven't quite figured out yet, stressing about an injury before it happens helps the player stay healthy. So we've admitted (at least partially) to ourselves that Stephen Curry is capable of disappointing the fan base, but because he's such a hero we've only considered the possibilities that are completely out of his control. Turned ankle. Finger in the eye. A runaway ice cream truck on Piedmont (with Adonal Foyle chasing after it, waving his dollar bills obnoxiously like the dude at the strip club that even the busted, meth head ho's don't wanna f*ck with anymore).
But NONE of us are preparing ourselves for a setback in Curry's game based on adjustments, added attention, the "stop-Curry, kill-the-Warriors" mentality displayed by San Antonio in the playoffs, or even the mere fact that SHOOTERS (of which, Curry is their king) ALWAYS GO INTO SLUMPS. Does anybody remember the first 15 games of last season? Steph Curry was shooting 37.5% for three; a far cry from where he finished his record-breaking year (45.3%), but still: that's almost 20% of the entire season. Curry shot 41.2% overall during that span.
- and for those of you claiming, "Psh, whatever bro. Curry shook it off and recovered fine... Record-breaking amount of 3's ring a bell?"... sure, you can have that attitude, but as a realist, I don't expect Stephen Curry to shoot 48% for three in THREE STRAIGHT MONTHS of the season. Read that again. Stephen Curry, a gunner, a dude taking nearly 8 shots from behind the arc every game, shot 48% from long-range between the end of November 2012 to the beginning of March 2013. That's friggin meta-human. You really think that Curry is gonna have another stretch like that again? Sorry... I'd love to see it, but I wouldn't bet a paycheck on it -
The San Antonio Spurs (admittedly, a model franchise whose tactics will not translate to many other squads) focused their entire defensive attack on Steph Curry and turned him into a volume shooter: 21 attempts per game, 40.4% overall, 35.2% for three, 3.3 turnovers per game, and an overall record of 2-4 (33%).
Yes, on a bum ankle
Yes, without David Lee
Yes, Bogut was hurt too
Yes, Curry played heavy minutes
Yes, the team was coming off short rest after the Denver series
Yes, the Spurs are damn near perfect
Yes, they were battling the tactics of Poppovich
But still. Is NOBODY worried that Greg Poppovich has exposed the method to dismantling the Warriors' atom bomb? All the hype of this offseason is predicated upon one thing this fan base is taking for granted: that the team's best player is Stephen Curry (a potential All-NBA Team PG, All-Star, and dark horse MVP candidate)... and not David Lee (whose very good, but definitely misses the mark as far as being one of the "great" power forwards of the league). If Stephen Curry gets blitzed night-in and night-out, drops his scoring to 18 points per game, and has a slump that actually lasts longer than the first month of the season... suddenly, the Warriors drop back from being a 3-4 seed, Western Conference contender, to once again, jockeying for the 6th or 7th seed and relying upon their depth before getting squeezed outta the second round by a Durant or Kobe or Chris Paul type star.
Is Stephen Curry a guy you can put in the same category as those other 3 guys? Would anybody bet the farm on Curry doing what those guys do with their rosters? Cause, in the playoffs, all that talk about depth and size and coaching and all those secondary things... they totally matter, but they're merely a weeding out process. Once you've got all 3 (coaching, size, and depth), then you put your star player on a stage against the other star players of the league and it becomes a struggle of will, where the guy who WANTS it the most ultimately gets it. Does Curry have the stuff? Can he be relied upon to stay consistent, even with adjustments? Is he sturdy enough to withstand an entire NBA season AND THEN continue to play at a top level for an extra 15-25 games?
Who here, after the heroic series against Denver, has already put their nuts on the table for Steph Curry? Who here calls Steph Curry God? Anybody wanna step up and claim that Curry is in the elite, upper echelon levels with Durant and LeBron and the others who can will a team to a title?
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
Here's the other side of the coin. There were so many things that could've gone right but was the exact opposite when the Spurs series took place.
First off, we lost our best post player. I'll refer to the NFL for this analogy. Just like how having a good running game opens up the pass, and how having a really good passing game opens up the run, having the luxury of one of the better post up players opens up the 3 point line. To Curry's credit, this guy can shoot off the dribble at a good clip, but as a spot of shooter, this guys elite. I'm not talking about current NBA era elite, but potentially NBA history elite. I don't think anyone can deny that Lee would've opened up some shots for Curry, but instead, Curry had to have the ball in his hands and create for himself, leading to the decline in efficiency.
Another thing that happened in that series was the slump of Klay Thompson. Thompson didn't offer Curry any help in terms of shooting. Had Klay been able to shoot his regular season FG percentage, it might've forced San Antonio to adjust to him and relieve some kind -- any kind -- of pressure off of Curry. Anytime you can give your star player some breathing room it will benefit the team as a whole as well as the star player in question. Instead, San Antonio was just letting Thompson hoist and had the defense locked in on Curry. Look at OKC. The second Westbrook sustained the knee injury was the second OKC's fate was sealed. When Westbrook went down, they already won two games, so that series was already too difficult for Houston to come back from, but the series with Memphis was much worse. No player in the NBA, even of the caliber of KD, could carry an NBA team through a series. Same holds true for Curry.
We also have to mention Andre Iguodala and how he helps Curry on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Iggy can find Steph. Homie averaged 5 APG, and although the sky's the limit for Barnes, Iggy can undoubtedly find Curry better than the black falcon. Another way Dre can help Curry is by hiding him on the defensive side. Klay picks up the elite 1's and 2's. Dre can lock up the 2's and 3's. This way, we can save Curry's legs, and we all know how important it is have your legs, especially when it comes to shooting.
Further more, Curry went into this offseason healthy. What that means is that instead of rehabbing his ankles like he did the last couple of seasons, Curry can work on adding tools, improving technique, and conditioning. Here's just a little tidbit on what he's working on now:
Just by looking at his physique, you can see that he might've gotten stronger. I'm certainly under the impression that he got more cut up. One thing I think we can hang our hats on is that he will come back as a better version of himself. Just by this video, we know that he's going to have a quicker first step.
Lastly, I think Curry's shooting will be legendary. I touched on it a little bit earlier, but I'll go into more detail right now. Curry set the 3 point record while missing 4 games. He also had to come back early from some of the turned ankles often missing only 1 or 2 games before coming back. He broke the record despite these setbacks, now imagine if this guy goes the full 82 without any speed bumps. Yes, injuries are still a part of the equation, but the potential is there. We potentially have the best shooter the game of basketball has ever seen, and the prospect of him going 10-13 more seasons of healthy basketball is thrilling.
At the end of the day, it's all about perspective. Is the glass half empty or half full? Right now, my sentiments are that it's the latter. I might be a little jaded, but if there was ever a window for us to compete for the hardware, it's now. However unlikely it is, right fukking now is the time for us to make a run for an NBA title.
From "we believe", to "we belong", to "we gon beatcho ass!"
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:21 pm
Poster Credit: 21
Very Well Written 32... FInally had some time to sit down and read it. I'll address each of the questions
10. Has Klay peaked?
I don't think so. I think he has time to improve. But i never expected him to be a 1 or 2 option on a team. Eric Gordan for me is a good #2 option. Klay is a decent #3 or #4 IMO now for a contender. I see him a bit more like Ben Gordon, a guy that will put up points, but not necessarly be a main piece to a teams success.
9 Who Starts?
For me, I wouldn't mind putting Klay as the 6th man, but it looks like Barnes is going to be the 6th man. I like Klay off the bench as he fits the traditional 6th man being a guard role. Put iggy as a 2, Barnes as the 3 and start big. Bring Klay in off the bench to play the 2, and shift around the remaining guys depending on that current game's situation.
8. Harrison Barnes
I feel like i do not know how high he can go. Therefore, I cannot make such a big guess. Maggs or Randolph both dont remind me of Barnes, so I do not worry about that. BUt its a wait and see attitude about Barnes.
7. Isolation options
I don't think so. Iggy is pretty good at handling the ball. And Curry will be holding it for many plays as well. Thinking about other ball handlers won't be such a big deal. We are only talking about a few possessions each game where someone else will be bringing it up.
6. Backup Center
This is interesting. My question is how much does J. Oneill have left on the tank? I think Mark Jackson should be smart and not play Bogut on any back-to-back games this season (meaning bogut should always get at least 1 days rest). We need to be smart with him. So for those games that Bogut doesnt play, Spreights plays 15-20 minutes, Jermaine can play 10 minutes a night, the team can go small ball for 15-18 minutes, and have festus play a few minutes a night (or more, if he is healthy). But all of this relies on Jermaine Oneal to have some left in the tank. I don't think Spreights should be playing more.
5. Replacing Jack
I wouldnt worry about it. Iggy > Jack
4. Does Iggy push roster over the top?
I don't think so. But it makes the warriors a top 5 or 6th team in the NBA. It really depends on the improvement on Barnes and the health of the team. If we see significant growth, then it very much can result in the team makiing the Finals. But that is a big if.
3. Lee on his way out
I would love to do a lee-thompson for Love trade. That would be great for the organization. Love is a California boy, and he is uneasy in Minnesota. Curry - Iggy - Barnes - Love - Bogut.... could be a Championship lineup. 5 guys who bring 5 very different skill sets.
Like you mentioned, when he was healthy, Bogut put some good numbers and was able to play more minutes. I really do not want to see him playing 2 games in 2 nights. Its too much to ask for a guy who gets hurt too often. I say limit his minutes to 25 minutes tops (especially in the early half of the season). Take a page from Greg Pops on this. No need to abuse him now when we can probably make the playoffs without forcing to play too much.
1. Curry Encore
I just want him to be healthy. His work ethic and hunger for the game will speak for himself!!!
Curry windmill dunk
From "we believe", to "we belong", to "we gon beatcho ass!"
Yeah, 8th, you clown around here so often I forget just good you are sometimes. I'll hit you with a response when I get some free time, but yeah. Suffice to say, +1.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
You too AJ
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
I feel you. BG's obviously a more explosive scorer, but Klay owns him defensively, and neither of them pass the ball, so it's sort of a pick-your-poison. Klay's age, contract, and ever-valuable "potential" tag make him more attractive.
In my opinion, Eric is not even close. If the Hornets are down, pull the trigger. Gordon, as a 20-point 6th man, conserving minutes and health for the post-season, RIPS through Klay Thompson at starting SG. Slide Iggy down, start Barnes, and ride the talent to the Finals. Gordon's got star potential. Thompson, if he fulfills every ounce of promise, is a #2.
Watch the deadline close. I have a feeling Klay might morph into a solid bench player to make room for Barnes. Maybe Thompson and Jermaine for someone like Gortat? It'd certainly make the Bogut resign more interesting. With Ezeli out, a tandem of Bogut and Gortat splitting minutes 50/50 (with both men expiring after the season) opens up an alternative starting option in the event that Bogut proves incurable. If the Warriors think they can get 80 games out of Gortat for 75% of Bogut's cost, I could easily see them taking that route after another 40-game season from Andrew. Obviously, Bogut being 100% is a best case scenario, but you gotta cover all bases.
No no, I'm not suggesting Barnes resembles either of those two. I'm saying he should try to add Maggette's moves as a contact swingman. Might mean the difference between ending up like Marvin Williams... Or Dominique Wilkins (yeah. I went there. )
I'm not so sure... Jarrett Jack handled the ball more often than Curry when both were on the floor and it resulted in Curry becoming a top 10 player. Finding ways to take Curry off the ball is critical in getting him more shots with less work.
Jermaine is indeed the question. He credits the Kobe Bryant knee treatment for his resurgence. If that's true, backup center isn't a question. Jermaine was starting caliber last year.
But O'Neal's time in Boston made him look ANCIENT... And he's only gotten older with more mileage piling up every year since 1996. If O'Neal plays like a Celtic, the loss of Ezeli becomes huge. Make no mistake; Speights will play plenty of minutes at center: he's the most talented bench big and Lee will be in 35 minutes a night. But for all Mo's qualities as a center (size, rebounding, nastiness) he doesn't block any shots and he's traditionally been a pouter when he doesn't get many looks (which, our centers don't). Speights picking and popping with Curry is loads better than Speights being made to rebound and defend while holding his breath and biting his tongue.
I think we'll know what we have by December.
They were already a 5-6 seed last year. I guess the question is: if Iggy doesn't make this team championship caliber, what does? They have an allstar caliber front court, a potential MVP point guard, and Iggy fits like an Italian suit. What more can they do to this roster besides deal for LeBron?
I'd cream my pants. No joke; I'd dress my woman up like a Warrior girl and bang the bajesus outta her for 12 straight days if this team acquires Kevin Love. For the sake of my lady's vag-tightness, I pray that doesn't happen...
Definitely easier said than done. When you're in a 5-game race with 2 months to go that could mean 4 higher seeds, it's real tough to throttle back on your best guys. Especially against the Clippers, who are up by 1.5 games, in a 1-point contest in the 4th after you've already put 30 minutes on Bogut and Lee's got 4 fouls. And then, assuming you win, you're gonna throw away the next night's game against the Lakers cause Bogut can't play back-to-backs? If we had Popp and his system, I'd definitely feel more comfortable. But, on the whole, I have a lotta faith in MJax and I think he'll do as good a job as can be done next year.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
Training camp starts Saturday. Guess we'll see how everyone meshes. The word on all issues before training camp:
10, Klay's the starting 2 and the Warriors are hoping for 15ish points with three long-range bombs a night.
8, Barnes is gonna start on the bench and the Warriors want to see if he can carry an offense in the second unit.
7, the Warriors will look to develop Steph and go to Iggy and Lee.
6, a platoon of O'Neal-Speights
5, Jack > Douglass, but Iggy should help with handling duties
4, Gary Payton picked the Warriors to win the west. Most analysts are thinking the Dubs will be a top 4 in the West.
3, Lee will get minutes and numbers while he's here. He and Thompson will probably be shopped at the deadline, but end up staying.
2, Bogut is said to be 100% as of late August. Warriors are already saying he looks like a top center in their pre-camp workouts.
1, Curry is doing windmills. Hopefully, stronger calves mean less ankle rolls.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS DIE HARD
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