It seems ages ago that the Golden State Warriors made their miraculous Playoff run of 2007. They continued to look promising last season, but the offseason afterwards was full of bizarre occurrences, and things took a turn for the worse in the Bay Area.
They lost their best player, Baron Davis, to free agency, and then his successor, Monta Ellis, went down with an injury. It all adds up to this season being nothing short of horrible.
As of late, the Warriors have actually played well. Since Ellis returned from his injury, the team has showed more effort, which has translated to more victories. They are currently on a three-game win streak heading into the All-Star break. But can we quantify the Dubs' quality?
Here are their individual mid-season grades.
PG Monta Ellis
Monta’s grade will be lowered because of his stupid offseason decisions: riding a moped, getting injured while doing it, and then lying to the front office about it.
Other than that, he has been fine. He has yet to play at the level he once did, but he is slowly getting there with each game; his just being on the court makes everyone around him play with more effort. His mid-range game and explosiveness aren’t what they used to be, but by the end of the season, he should be back to where he once was.
SG Jamal Crawford
After hearing that Al Harrington was traded to the New York Knicks for Jamal Crawford, Warrior fans went nuts. Unfortunately for Golden State, the trade has worked more in favor of the Knicks.
Crawford needs the ball in his hands to succeed, like the two other veterans on this team. He already got into an argument with a teammate about selfishness, and Jamal can get stubborn at times and force ill-advised shots. He may be the streakiest player on the team.
SF Stephen Jackson
At times, he looks like "Captain Jack". At other times, he looks lazy.
It’s frustrating to see him not get back on defense and argue with the officials about blown calls, leaving his teammates to play undermanned.
Jackson has played selfishly sometimes, but at the same time, has also matured a lot this season. His all-around game is much better today than in any of his previous seasons. He isn’t the ideal leader for a young squad like the Warriors, but he's done an average job.
PF Kelenna Azubuike
He began the season by struggling but caught fire later on. He is one of the best three-point shooters in the league and a good finisher around the rim. But like most of the team, he is streaky.
He'll sometimes force up bad shots instead of passing the ball, but he's been a good rebounder and average defender to make up for it.
C Andris Biedrins
He's the most valuable player of this team, despite the fact that they are on a win streak without him. Biedrins cuts to the basket well, is a great finisher around the basket, and rebounds with the best of the league.
He usually has to clean up the mess Maggette, Crawford, and Jackson make as he hustles down rebounds so they can throw up another one.
Big men who can’t shoot don’t play too well under Don Nelson because they get nothing in the offense, but he still averages double-figures. An All-Star in the future for sure; that is, once a new coach arrives.
G/F Corey Maggette
An overpaid, injury-prone ballhog that doesn’t play defense. Maggette played horribly to begin the season, though he's improved since becoming the sixth man.
Still looks for his shot over everything else, but he gets to the rim well and gets fouled often.
F/C Ronny Turiaf
He's at the top of the league in blocks despite playing relatively few minutes. Turiaf gets a lot of his swats when Warriors guards can’t keep their man in front of them.
He has an inconsistent jumper, rebounds only averagely, and fouls way too much, but he’s a great energy player.
G C.J. Watson
Plays well when he gets time, though he's had a torn ligament in his shooting arm all season. Watson gambles for steals on defense.
He has a nice jumper and can find open players at times.
G/F Marco Belinelli
Warriors fans had been waiting for Marco to finally get some burn, and this has been the season for it. Since he cracked Nelson’s rotation, he has played tremendously.
He has even improved on his weakest area, defense. He’s a good passer and shooter. He chucks up random shots at times, but that’s just what he's learned from the “leaders,”I guess.
F Anthony Randolph
Plays excellently in limited minutes.
Randolph rebounds the ball well and is great at running the break. His jumpshot isn’t great, but he is capable of hitting it when needed. He has great hustle and has a nack for blocking shots.
F Anthony Morrow
This undrafted rookie scored 37 points in his first start. Morrow is an amazing shooter, and it's a crim he's not in the three-point shootout. If Nelson played him more, he would be a great weapon.
Started the season as just a shooter, but has become a great rebounder and more than just a catch-and-shoot player.
F Brandan Wright
Wright developed a bit of an offensive post game and became a better rebounder when he got some minutes. Unfortunately, he has been injured for a long time and hasn’t lived up to fan expectations
F Rob Kurz
He has a nice jumper and is willing to give up his body. Kurz is a decent player that can be a great ninth or tenth man off the bench.
G Marcus Williams
He should be playing more minutes. Willliams may be the best playmaker on this team. He didn't even touch the floor in a triple-overtime game where three players fouled out and a few were injured.
F/C Jermareo Davidson
He still has not played enough minutes to be evaluated.