Projecting Each Golden State Warriors' Minutes Per Game
How good are the Golden State Warriors going to be this season?
Well, if available minutes are any indicator, the Warriors will have the depth to matchup with anyone.
We have to give Mark Jackson a pass last season. With the players he was dealt, things were so bad that at one point he had to start five rookies!
This year there will be no excuses. Jackson's only problem will be figuring out how to disperse equal minutes to all the talent he has.
With a new system and new players, this is going to be an exciting season for the Warriors. It is Jackson's job to make sure everybody is healthy and happy with their playing time.
Here is a projection of how the minutes will likely be distributed this season.
Center: Jeremy Tyler
Minutes Per Game: 4.5
Jeremy Tyler has a lot of raw talent and got the chance to play a bit last year when the Warriors were out of contention.
He played so well, the Warriors went out and drafted Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and signed Carl Landry.
OK, so he is a few years away, but the potential is there. Anything more than 40 appearances this season in small spurts is expecting too much.
Center: Andris Biedrins
Minutes Per Game: 9.7
Remember when Andris Biedrins could actually play basketball?
How did it come to this?
Yet here were. Now it's hard to imagine that Biedrins will play more than 10 minutes a game. He did play well when Kwame Brown was in the lineup so you never know what will happen with Andrew Bogut aboard.
Hey if Barry Zito could turn things around in the Bay Area, why not Biedrins? (Fingers crossed)
Small Forward: Kent Bazemore
Minutes Per Game: 5.9
Kent Bazemore performed well enough in the NBA Summer League to make the team this season. He is expected to take over the Dominic McGuire role as an energetic role player who can defend.
How many minutes, like most of the guys at the end of the bench, depend on whom or how many injuries occur.
It's nice to know that a guy like Bazemore is there in case of any fatalities.
Forward: Draymond Green
Minutes Per Game: 11.9
Before Carl Landry was acquired, Draymond Green was in line to be a major contributor. Much like everyone else at the end of the bench the minutes just aren't going to be there barring injuries.
Green could end up being a steal for the Warriors as a second round pick. He is tough, energetic and skilled. He just needs the chance to prove what he is capable of.
Point Guard: Charles Jenkins
Minutes Per Game: 14.5
Charles Jenkins late season runaway train play was derailed by the acquisition of Jarrett Jack.
With the way he played at the end of last season Jenkins looked like he was capable of being Stephen Curry's primary backup this season. The veteran presence of Jack really limits the minutes available for Jenkins to make an impact.
He may have a bright career ahead of him, but with minutes hard to come by in the Warriors backcourt this season, his impact years are probably down the road.
Small Forward: Richard Jefferson
Minutes Per Game: 17.5
Richard Jefferson is here to provide leadership, but with all the talent the Warriors now have minutes are going to be hard to come by.
Now at age 32, Jefferson has lost a step.
However, Jefferson still can shoot the three-ball. Only 13 players hit more three-pointers than him last season. When he does get into the game, if he is hot it's going to be tough for Mark Jackson to take him out.
As long as he is knocking down shots he will be able to find some playing time this season. It just won't be as much as he is used to.
Center: Festus Ezeli
Minutes Per Game: 21.1
If you're wondering what to make of Festus Ezeli this year, look no farther than this quote from Coach Mark Jackson (via Marcus Thompson)
"He was spectacular. He is the real deal. I can't believe he was there at 30."
Unless Andris Biedrins rewinds the clock and plays like he did to earn a $55 million contract, count on Ezeli being the primary backup to Andrew Bogut. He should play a big part of the Warriors rotation.
With Bogut being the man of ahead of him, Ezeli knows he is just one flukey occurrence away from being a starter in the NBA.
As a 22-year old four-year collegiate player, expect his learning curve to be a little more flat than the typical NBA rookie.
Power Forward: Carl Landry
Minutes Per Game: 22.4
The Warriors got a huge boost in scoring off the bench when they signed Carl Landry.
With his ability to get to the free throw line, it will help give the Warriors starters extra time to rest as he gets to the line so frequently.
Ordinarily the Warriors signing Landry would have made no difference. As good as Landry is on offense, he is equally bad on defense. Now with Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli in the middle it will help disguise Landry on defense allowing him to excel on offense.
Point Guard: Jarrett Jack
Minutes Per Game: 22.7
Jarrett Jack is going to be the perfect backup point guard for the Warriors.
With all the shooters in front of him, Jack can come in to provide toughness and be someone on the floor who can attack the rim.
In fact, Jack might not be relinquished to being a backup all season. Stephen Curry and his ankles are in front of him so becoming a starter might not be far-off.
The Warriors will need a healthy Curry to make a serious run at the playoffs, but if he goes down, the Warriors won't have to throw up the white flag. Jack is fully capable of handling the starters role if need be.
Small Forward: Harrison Barnes
Minutes Per Game: 25.3
It's still an ongoing debate whether Harrison Barnes, Brandon Rush or (to a lesser extent) Richard Jefferson will be the starting small forward for the Warriors. The choice should be fairly obvious.
He is the future at small forward for the Warriors, and he boosts tons of potential. The quicker he adjusts to starting in the NBA, the better.
Starting or not, don't expect him the Warriors to overwhelm him with a lot of minutes. Around 25 minutes with Jefferson and Rush behind him, seems about right for the rookie.
Shooting Guard: Brandon Rush
Minutes Per Game: 26.1
Harrison Barnes might end up being the starter, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will get the most minutes.
Brandon Rush played a key role off the bench for the Warriors last season. Expect him to do the same thing this year.
His versatility is a real asset off the bench. Being able to play either wing position, he can relieve Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes, whoever is not on that night. Being a legit perimeter defender, the Warriors will need someone like him on their second unit.
Coming off the bench, expect Rush to log key and consistent minutes this season.
Center: Andrew Bogut
Minutes Per Game: 29.1
Minutes per game is not so much in question with Andrew Bogut as it is with games played.
Bogut is the biggest piece in the postseason puzzle that the Warriors are trying to put together. Monitoring his minutes as he recovers from ankle surgery is essential.
Expect the Warriors to start him out nice and slow as he recovers from surgery. Once he gets his feel back, play him as much as his ankle allows.
Point Guard: Stephen Curry
Minutes Per Game: 29.3
Coming off yet another ankle surgery, expect the Warriors to go with a cautious approach and limit Curry's minutes in the early going.
If the Warriors are going to make the playoffs this season Curry will have to play a big role for them.
Going out and playing major minutes is not the safest approach to take. With Jarrett Jack and Charles Jenkins behind him, the Warriors should be taking it nice and easy with Curry until he proves he can stay healthy.
Once that happens his minutes should climb.
Power Forward: David Lee
Minutes Per Game: 35.2
David Lee finally gets to play alongside a stud center easing the defensive pressure on him while facing fewer double teams offensively. Not only that, he has a potent post scorer behind him in Carl Landry easing the scoring load for him. Add in another defensive center to play alongside in Festus Ezeli, Lee has the most protection that he has ever had in his career.
With the depth the Warriors now have they can afford to limit Lee's minutes early and play him more when they make (fingers and toes crossed) the NBA playoff push.
No one has ever questioned Lee's desire and with the help he has now, expect him to have his finest season as a Warrior.
Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson
Minutes Per Game: 35.3
Expect Klay Thompson to log the same amount of minutes that Monta Ellis provided.
Thompson really showed what he is capable of after Ellis was traded. With his skills, it's going to be next to impossible for Coach Mark Jackson to keep him off the floor.
Thompson's versatility will allow the Warriors to feature a ton of different lineups as he can play both guard positions and small forward if needed.
Don't be surprised if the second-year Thompson leads the team in minutes played.