Golden State Warriors: 4 Ways Harrison Barnes Can Make an Impact His Rookie Year
As we close in on a month until the start of the 2012-13 NBA season, Warriors fans have to be excited to officially check out their new players.
While it will be nice to see Andrew Bogut wearing Warriors colors, fans will no doubt be most excited to see No. 7 draft pick Harrison Barnes take the floor. Barnes is a long, athletic small forward who should be able to immediately step in and help Golden State. While he showed some flaws at North Carolina, there is no doubt that he is ready for the NBA.
This article will go through exactly where Harrison Barnes could make his impact on the Golden State Warriors during his rookie year.
Plain and simple, the Warriors need help on defense.
They got Andrew Bogut last season, which should finally give them the defensive presence inside that they have been looking for. Still, defense is where Harrison Barnes could make his impact the greatest.
Last season, Golden State gave up over 101 points per game—good for third worst in the NBA. They clearly needed help and neither Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson seem up for the challenge.
Very few people are expecting Barnes to become a lockdown defender, but he has the length and athleticism to play solid defense, and that is something that Golden State desperately needs.
Warriors fans shouldn't expect too much out of Barnes defensively after watching their team for the last few years. Still, he will make Golden State better on that end of the floor which is all we can ask for.
Another area that Golden State struggled in last year was rebounding.
They were the third worst team in rebounds per game, and were out rebounded by league worst 6.65 per game.
Once again, the addition of Andrew Bogut will help since he is a threat to grab double-digit boards if healthy. Still, the team will need help from other positions, and Barnes should be the first on the list of players to step up.
Barnes' rebounding in college wasn't great, averaging 5.5 per game last year playing next to Tyler Zeller and John Henson. At the very least, his rebounds per game should stay at around five, but don't be surprised if they go higher than that.
Like defense, Barnes won't have to be great to make a serious impact on this part of the game. The Warriors are a terrible rebounding team, and his arrival should be a step towards fixing that.
Spreading the Floor
Finally, a strength for the Warriors.This is a team stacked with good shooters.
They have Brandon Rush, who shot 45.2 percent from behind the arc last year, to go along with Klay Thompson, who shot 41.4 percent and Stephen Curry, who shot 45.5 percent.
That doesn't even include David Lee, who can step out and hit the mid-range jump shot with ease.
The point is, the Warriors can shoot the ball.
Still, the addition of Barnes will allow Golden State to keep their spacing, which allows Andrew Bogut and David Lee room to work inside. It also allows Curry more room to create looks for the offense.
Barnes was a good three-point shooter last year, hitting on almost 36 percent of his attempts. This year, however, I'd look for him to improve on that number as he sees more and more open looks.
Another Consistent Scoring Threat
Harrison Barnes may have trouble creating his own shot at times, but there is no doubt that he is a capable scorer.
Barnes scored 17.1 points per game last season while shooting 44 percent from the field.
While I'd look for his scoring numbers to dip a little, they will still likely hover between 13 and 15 points per game.
He has the makings of a deadly shooter, both from mid-range and beyond the arc. Playing with Curry, Thompson and David Lee should give Harrison plenty of open looks that he is more than capable of knocking down.
The Warriors could use another consistent scorer after finishing 12th in the league in scoring last season. Harrison Barnes could easily be that guy, and will likely make his presence known on the offensive end this coming season.