Warriors Top 10 Issues for the Rest of the Season

Discuss anything related to Golden State Warriors basketball here

Moderators: Mr. Crackerz, JREED, Guybrush, 32

What means the most to Golden State's season?

Jason Richardson coming back at 100%.
Baron Davis continuing his career season.
No votes
The continued contributions from players aquired in the Pacers/Warriors trade.
The continued contributions from semi-franchise players, like Biedrins and Ellis.
No votes
The continued contributions from role players, like Barnes and Pietrus

Total votes: 23

User avatar

Posts: 13751
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:07 pm
Warriors Top 10 Issues For Rest of Season

10) Will O'Bryant be a factor this year? - The Warriors' first round draft pick has been down in D-League maturing for the past couple of months. The Warriors have already commented that he'll be reinstated to the active roster as soon as the D-League season ends... but Don Nelson has hinted at bringing back Patrick O'Bryant as early as next month. Knowing that O'Bryant is on his way back to the roster, Golden State's main question has to be: can the kid be a factor this year? His D-League stat-line is a two-part mystery: Chef started out posting 7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game in 8 showings for The Jam, but he's been averaging 17, 11, and 2.5 during the past 5 games. Has O'Bryant matured... or is his recent tear on the league just a fluke?

9) Will Chris Mullin make another move? - It's rumored that Mullin is looking to deal a wingman or two (along with, possibly, draft picks) for an athletic big man. The Hornets are thrilled with Tyson Chandler (not to mention, he's got a huge contract), so that option is probably out. Tyrus Thomas is still too raw for Don Nelson. And any rumor regarding Nazr Mohammed is purely Detroit-fan-wishful-thinking. Is Mullin going to let this group gel together... or is he not done moving pieces around? Expendable (yet, desireable) pieces include: Sarunas Jasikevicius, Kelenna Azubuike, Matt Barnes, or (for the right price) Mickael Pietrus. We'll see what Mullin comes up with.

8) Can Stephen Jackson stay in the rotation? - Jackson's been a model citizen since putting on a Warriors uniform. However, many Pacers fans claim that Jackson was the real instigator who used to stir up Ron Artest and company. SJax is also scheduled to appear in court in the near future. His reputation is slowly being repaired in the Bay, but fans are still unwilling to turn their backs on him. Will he continue to lay low?

7) Role players stepping up - Matt Barnes has scored 20 or more points 8 times this season. Kelenna Azubuike torched a career-high 28 against the Clippers. Mickael Pietrus has hit the 20-point-mark 6 times this season... and finished with double-digit rebounding 4 times. Pietrus and Barnes are Golden State's most valueable bench players at the moment... but when fully healthy, Monta Ellis or Stephen Jackson will most likely also find himself as a reserve as well. Golden State has a seemingly endless supply of talented wingmen. Their success depends on how often their role players come up big.

6) How much gas does Don Nelson have left? - This is probably a non-issue (at least this year... maybe next year, it'll be more relevant). Don Nelson will turn 67 this May and has already shown bits and pieces of frustration with having so many young players that need developing. He got rid of Ike Diogu because Ike was still another 2 years from being an impact player... and he sent O'Bryant to the D-League when he saw how green he was in NBA minutes. Does Nelson have the patience (or the years) left to groom this franchise in his image? Dallas (whom Nelson built from the ground up) is now a constant playoff threat... and will be for years to come. Warriors fans are hoping Nelly has enough in the tank to get Golden State to that level.

5) How often can the Warriors rely on Al Harrington? - Right now, Harrington's averaging 19.2 PPG as a Warrior (second to only Baron Davis). But look at his up-and-down FG% in Golden State (keep in mind, he's never shot less than 11 shots in a game and averages 16.1 attempts per night as a Warrior): 19%, 68%, 71%, 82%, 33%, 47%, 27%, 35%, 35%, 33%. Harrington is a very streaky player. The question Golden State needs answered is: can Harrington carry the scoring load often enough to be counted on... or should they keep relying too heavily on Baron Davis and Monta Ellis?

4) Is Andris Biedrins ready to be the Warriors' rock? - So far this year, Biedrins can best be described as a nice surprise. Nelson thrust him into the starting role hoping to add athleticism to the Warriors lineup and he ended up getting a 62% field goal shooter whose delivering nightly double-double's. Biedrins has not only beefed up enough to become a rebounding force; he's also kicked his free throw woes (or, at least, improved them). Andris is going to be a pivotal resign for Golden State. The thing is, Biedrins never seems to overachieve, when it comes to delivering the Warriors a W. The kid rebounds well, plugs up the middle, and is always ready for an inside bucket... but when the Warriors are without their star players, Biedrins has yet to step up and carry the team. One could argue that Andris was the catalyst for the Warriors' early season victory of the Spurs, but he hasn't shown that kind of intensity since. There's no doubt, the kid gets his numbers. But, with his kind of talent, Biedrins needs to assert himself and grab more responsibility as a Warrior. It could start as easily as fouling less and developing an out-of-the-circle offensive move (nothing spectacular; just a Foyle-level hook shot would do).

3) Will Baron's comeback season last the whole year? - Davis has missed only 7 games this year (the Warriors are 3-4 without him). He's averaging superstar numbers again (21 PPG, 9 APG, 4.6 RPG, 2.1 SPG) and is only 11 games away from surpassing the number of games he played last season. One might argue that if Davis continues playing like this, his previous best season (2003-'04) will be dethroned. Nelson has been quoting saying, "He's my horse... and, at the moment, he's the only one I've got." It's been common knowledge since the trade a couple years back: the Warriors go as far Baron Davis can take them. Under Nelson, Davis has seemed rejuvinated and has regained his star talent. I've stated many times that I believe the Warriors are playoff-bound if Davis plays at least 65 games. Can he keep it up for an entire season?

2) How much can the Warriors stack on Monta Ellis' back this year? - The next closest Warrior to Ellis' weight ('Roony) is 20 pounds heavier. Baron Davis (the second closest) is 40 pounds heavier. Monta Ellis, clearly, is still a project... but it's pretty rare when a project (whose best days are clearly ahead of him) is able to average over 17 points a night as a sophomore in this league. The last time the Warriors had a player who matched that description, his name was Gilbert Arenas (who, in case you haven't heard, is averaging 30 points a night now). Ellis is a stud, there's no doubt about it. But, as with Biedrins, is he ready to be one of the Warriors' foundations yet? Nelson believes he's pushing Ellis too quick. As a point guard, Monta Ellis is clearly still not ready to lead the Warriors; averaging 3 assists and 3 turnovers in 34 minutes. But as a shooting guard? Ellis is putting up 17 a night on 47% shooting from the field. He's been solid, thus far. The Warriors' happiest surprise of the year has been being able to rely so heavily on Ellis.

1) The return of Jason Richardson - Richardson's return to the Warriors will have the same impact as Amare's return to the Suns. Even though the team's true franchise wasn't injured (Davis or Nash), their favorite gun was taken away from them. Richardson's scoring improved 5 years in a row; ballooning to 23.2 PPG last season; which is more than any other player on the roster has ever averaged in the NBA. JRich has struggled with injuries all season (namely, a recoving knee coming off preseason surgery). His scoring and percentages dipped, his rebounding dropped, and he was docked nearly 10 MPG. If Jason comes back at 100% (which, according to me, he hasn't been above 80% yet this season), the struggling Warriors - who have seemed stuck in the 8-seed race all year - will set fire. A fully-fuctional Richardson, along with all the other improvements the Warriors have made this year, spells playoffs for the Bay. Count on it.
User avatar

All Star
Posts: 3074
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:49 pm
J-Rich is the biggest factor because when Al's not hitting we can go through J-Rich (we'll probably go through JR first anyway).
User avatar

Franchise Player
Posts: 9163
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:35 pm
Good thread. I can't really say what the most important thing down the stretch. But if I had to narrow it down, it'd be the return of Jrich. Harrington and Jackson have not shown much consistency. Harrington struggles usually when the team needs his offense the most. Jason's scoring will be a key factor down the stretch.

10) POB must be ready to play backup for Biedrins. He's been getting into foul trouble since the beginning and Foyle isn't the type of guy Nellie is looking for to back AB up. He must be ready to play after the NBADL season or if he gets recalled. I have a feeling after the season ends for the DL, the Warriors will be in a close race for the 8th spot and will need him.

9) Another move for the Warriors would surely help depending on who they receive in return and who they ship out. I don't mind losing any Warrior besides Jrich, Baron, Monta, or AB and that pretty much cancels out any possibility of making a blockbuster trade.

8 ) Sjax has struggled on and off the court these past few years. And even though is rep is starting to be at a respectable level, he will always forever be known as a "thug" for those past incidents. His offensive game needs to be consistent.

7) The role players have been there for the Warriors when getting the opportunity. Azubuike made his presence felt when playing big minutes when the Warriors were down on bodies and he also has made teams respect him coming off the bench. MP has been there this season whether it was defense, rebounding, or three's. Barnes has been a huge suprise and he has proven what happens when he catches fire. Foyle, whom Nelson and even I myself had a hard time believing he'd make it into the rotation, has put in extra work to play. These role players have been there, the question is will it continue?

6) As Nelson continues to age, so does his mind of the game. You tend to forget things as you grow into old age and from what I've read here in this forum, it seems as if many believe he's lost a step in his coaching and sounds like he's lost interest at times. He has said he plans to have Keith Smart as the successor, but how long will Nelson stay patient with this group?

5) Harrington cannot be relied on every night. The Warriors cannot expect him to put up the numbers, he is no Kobe, LeBron, KG, or ect. His percentages may have gone up, but his consistency is still in question.

4) I think, at his age, AB is not full time ready to be the Warriors go to guy down low. He has shown many promising nights, but there's one problem, he's foul prone. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he's one dangerous weapon.

3) Baron's comeback season shows some question still. The weight loss has surely helped him out. But all year, he has been playing through injury and playing big minutes. One has to wonder how that would affect him later on in the season.

2) Monta has proven, he's a combo guard, not a point guard. But if you give him the proper coaching and time, he'll become the point guard Nelson may have hope to become. Remember, this kid was considered a 1st rounder until a questionable injury.

1) Ah yes, and number one. When Jason returns, his play may determine the rest of the Warriors season. They desperately are in need of his consistent scoring, but is he the Jason Richardson that we saw on the offensive end last season? I don't know, we shall see couple games after all star weekend.

All Star
Posts: 2261
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:51 pm
Great thread & analysis #32 :D Top 2 for me is J Rich & what Mullin does before the deadline :!:

All Star
Posts: 2883
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Great thread and great insights by everyone on this thread.

I would like to see POB backing up Biedrens, Richardson to work his way back into shape, Powell to spell both Harrington as well as Biedres/POB, and Cabbage settling into the role and rotation as a backup to Davis.
User avatar

Posts: 13751
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:38 pm
uptempo wrote:I would like to see POB backing up Biedrens, Richardson to work his way back into shape, Powell to spell both Harrington as well as Biedres/POB, and Cabbage settling into the role and rotation as a backup to Davis.

I thought O'Bryant was producing just as well (if not better) than Foyle PRIOR to his D-League demotion. With more experience and a lot more NBA-level practice, one can only hope the kid becomes a decent backup THIS year (he'll definately be one next year). Potentially, he's got the body and the drive to be starter material... but he needs to put in the work in the weight room and get a little more practice in.
User avatar

Hall of Famer
Posts: 22181
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:07 pm
Health is the #1 thing with the team!

JRich comes back healthy and gets his game back for the last month of the season - the team's chances of going to the playoffs are much better.

The biggest thing from a performing point of view for the tea is - Playing decent defense and playing proper offense with less outside shooting and more taking it to the basket.

Harrington is a third option, not a second option so Monta either needs to get healthy and firing or JRich needs to come back and play properly
User avatar

Posts: 13751
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:02 pm
When the Warriors are fully healthy, here's how I see their scoring options ranking:

1) Richardson
2) Davis
3) Harrington
4) Ellis
5) Jackson
6) Barnes
7) Pietrus
8) Azubuike
9) 'Roony
10) Powell
11) Biedrins
12) Foyle

Andris is more of a weapon than a go-to guy (hence, his lower rating). I can see the offense running through Josh Powell before they give it to Andris in the post and let him work.

Ellis will surpass Harrington by next season, but you need to understand: a) Harrington takes a lot of shots, b) the Warriors traded for him because they wanted another scorer, and c) Al is a streaky shooter who can knock down 10 shots in a row on some nights. It was proven against the 76ers, when Harrington (even though he had played less than 10 games in a Warriors' uniform) was given the last shot for the win.

Even though Baron Davis is mostly a distributer in this lineup, I can't see him being anything less than the team's 2nd leading scorer. I really can't. In crunch time (or, when the Warriors are in a funk), he wants the ball.

5-9 are basically interchangeable, but that's how I see them ranking. Stephen Jackson and Kelenna Azubuike have the most firepower, 'Roony's got the most range (when he's on), and Pietrus gets a lotta minutes (so he's usually warmed up).

At the moment, Josh Powell is probably our best scoring big man (not counting Harrington, who plays like a smaller guy). Andris gets more touches (and can slam it down just as well), but Powell's midrange gives him an edge over Foyle or Biedrins.

All Star
Posts: 1218
» Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:02 pm
Great effort on this thread!

My take:

10. Minor league bus rides have motivated a lot of athletes. The Warriors organization sold off the luxurious new bus and bought a WWII army surplus model with welded springs to speed up this process. And, POB has the advantage of being Always Tall, so maybe...Naw, not likely this year.

9. Nelson, on his usual edgy KNBR interview today, said he needed more "pieces". Said, motivationally, that his bench wasn't NBA quality. Sounds like more trades. But when?

8. Jackson will be in the rotation as long as he is here.

7. Add Cabbage to the list of other capable reserves. It is hard for reserves to be consistent if their role and playing time isn't. That is the lot of all substitutes in all sports. Hope for predictable substitution patterns.

6. Nelson's age, size, workload and personal habits are going to catch up with him. He should be good for this year. I really wonder about a year or so from now.

5. Harrington can be very good or not. Nelson keeps him in the game even when he is doing poorly, so hope for the Good Al.

4. When he turns 21 the team will take Biedrins out and get him drunk. Feeling damned near invincible, he will step out of character and drill a 15 footer and bring the house down. He will take another and brick it, learning the hard way that once is all there is until next year.

3. Davis is in good shape, but you never know. Cabbage hopefully becomes a productive time saver that can keep Davis fresh and healthy.

2. I hope Cabbage can be the second point guard behind Davis. He can then both rest Davis and keep Ellis at the two spot where he really does well.

1. JR will take a few games to get going. Bet on him and the team being really hot at the end. Will that be too late?

The Ws make it or not based on the last couple of games.

Posts: 36
» Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:05 am
I choose the Baron Davis one because if hes doesnt play a majority of the rest of the season I dont think the Warriors are making the playoffs....but after thinking and reading some more post.......

I honestly dont think we are making the playoffs this year. Our defense is too porous, we cant rebound and our half court offense lacks a low post presence.

And the funny thing is im not even that upset, because

I think TOP ISSUE for us this year is the continued development of Monta and Big B. With these guys we have some kind of hope for a really really good team next year. We have tons of pieces we can trade and actually have a bright future.

JRich coming back will help, but hes not gonna bring incredible defense or bring any more of the rebounds we need. Our guards rebound just fine, we needs rebounds from our big guys (minus Big B).

Im gonna enjoy our run and gun and Nellie interviews the rest of the year and just be prepared for leads we give up in the second half of the season on a nightly basis. Its who we are right? And dont think im complaining because our team now might not get any more wins then we had with dungmurph but i enjoy watching our team 1000 x more now. Win or Lose.
User avatar

Hall of Famer
Posts: 18315
» Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:16 am
Nice thread, #32. Let me try to add my views on each question:

10) Will O'Bryant be a factor this year? - You all know what I think about POB. He looks too soft to ever be a factor, not even as a backup... but that's just my opinion. I've been wrong before (plenty of times).

In any case, he certainly won't be a factor this year. Maybe in the future, but not now.

9) Will Chris Mullin make another move? - Depends on what he sees available. It takes two to tango. Right now, I'd say no... but you never know.

8 ) Can Stephen Jackson stay in the rotation? - Stay in the rotation?. Sure, why not?. Be anything more than a role player? I'm not sure. I think Nellie will realize Jax cannot take so many shots each game... He'll have to start playing more like a role player.

7) Role players stepping up - See the previous answer. We have lots of firepower. We just need role players to step up in other aspects of the game (defense, rebounding...) If they do, we'll be fine.

6) How much gas does Don Nelson have left? - I doubt he'll leave this season or the next... but I'm not sure he'll stay his full contract. If we have two bad seasons, I doubt he'll be with the team for the final one.

5) How often can the Warriors rely on Al Harrington? - If he's hot, great. If not, we have lots of options on offense. He'll be better once J-Rich comes back and he gets more space to work. Right now, everybody knows he's going to be the first or second option... I'd like him to work a bit on other things, like defense and the boards. Scoring is great, but we have enough of that.

4) Is Andris Biedrins ready to be the Warriors' rock? - No. We cannot expect that from him. It's not fair for a player who is playing as a starter for the first time in his career.

3) Will Baron's comeback season last the whole year? - Could be... but he's proven time and time again that he's injury prone.

2) How much can the Warriors stack on Monta Ellis' back this year? - I'd like to have him as a 6th man, exclusively, for this season. His situation is akin to Biedrins. I'd like to let him play without having to rush him into something he's not (yet).

1) The return of Jason Richardson - This is the key of the season. You say he's played at 80% at best... I doubt he was over 60%. Once he's back (and healthy), we'll have our main offensive weapon back, which can only help Harrington and Baron, as they won't be the focus of the opposing defense.
User avatar

Posts: 13751
» Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:11 am
TMC wrote:You say he's played at 80% at best... I doubt he was over 60%.

I meant that he topped out at 80%.

One game (I believe it was our win against the Spurs), he had a typical JRich scoring night: 26 points (shooting 55%). The rebounds weren't there, but he hit 2 of 4 beyond the arc and added 5 assists (that, ultimately, pulled us to the win).

Other than that game, I agree: Richardson's never been anywhere above 60%. Last season, he shot above 50% from the field in 21 games (+60% from the field 6 times). This year, he's only done it 4 times (topping out at 55% once). And he's taking 7 less shots a night (so, we can assume, his percentages would probably have been worse with more attempts).

We have yet to see the real JRich this season.

All Star
Posts: 1216
» Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:32 pm
main point is.. Richardson made up a big bulk of the warriors' scoring before he got that surgery and this will let Harrington and Jackson be starting role players. Streaky players like them need a consistent scorer next to them (like a 100% healthy Richardson) so either one can contribute on any given night.

Starting Lineup
Posts: 675
» Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:33 pm
I chose the return of J.Rich, but I don't think it's possible he'll return at 100%. He's had leg surgery and an arm injury, we can't expect him to come back and put up 23 ppg. That said i don't think this is our season. The new pieces are nice, and no one can claim we are short of talent, but they need time to learn each other's tendencies and mesh. That is especially obvious defensively as they can't stop teams consistently. I don't know if the problem is motivation, talent, or chemistry, but our only hope is that the team will start clicking 20-25 games from the trade and catch fire.

The team can't win on the road and that's a large portion of games. I think developing Biedrins, Monta, and eventually POB will be great for next year while meshing the Indy players with the rest of the crew. After a strong off-season of working out for J.Rich, we'll be ready for next season. Definitely not how I had hoped in November, but that seems like the direction of this team.

With the talent we have, Mullin has many options to make an acquisition before the deadline or during the off-season, but it might be too little too late.
User avatar

Franchise Player
Posts: 9163
» Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:37 am
Our role players showed heart and were relentless in the fight for the lead back. The Warriors have their reasons for winning at home, but one most importantly, the fans. They're always coming back season after season supporting these guys. I heard Damon Bruce say that it's as if Warrior fans create a comfortable atmostphere for the players to put on a show. One reason the Warriors continue to excel is because of the fans. Now if the Warriors could bring such momentum on the road with them, they'll be in the playoffs.

But UNTIL the Warriors finally make a 5, 6, 7 game winning streak run, they ain't goin no where this year.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests