Final Grades for Every Golden State Warriors Starter in 2012-13
The 2012-13 Golden State Warriors season can be considered successful and a building block, but now it is time to disperse the final report cards for every Golden State Warriors starter. The grades given out will be a lot more favorable than the previous season.
There were a lot of highs during the season, like Steph Curry breaking the single-season three-point record, David Lee being named the first Warriors’ All-Star this century and the Warriors making the playoffs for the first time since the “We Believe” team.
The fans at Oracle Arena were rewarded with the first significant output in a long time, and they helped make Oracle one of the loudest arenas in history. Opposing teams feared going to Oakland, especially during the playoffs, because of the loyal support.
The only problem is that the Dubs didn’t always bring the consistent effort every night. Let’s take a closer look at each starter.
PG Steph Curry
Steph Curry transformed himself from the player who could never stay healthy to a legitimate Top 10 NBA player. The Warriors management had faith in the guard and secured his future with a four-year, $44 million dollar deal that now looks like highway robbery.
During the season, Curry was primarily an outside shooter, but has turned more to the dribble-drive and the pick-and-roll with power forward David Lee. In the playoffs, he showed off his perfect shooting stroke by reigning threes and driving to the hoop with his unbelievable floater.
He led the Dubs to the upset of the Denver Nuggets in six games, and he single-handed dominated the Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. He definitely got the attention of fans nationwide.
He also set the single-season record for three-pointers, by eclipsing Ray Allen in the final game of the season against the Portland Trailblazers. He also finished in second place shooting free throws by converting 90 percent of his attempts.
Curry was disappointed when he didn't get an invite to the USA National Team minicamp, but officials have seen enough of his play to know that he is an elite talent. Curry’s next task is to take this team to the next level and put them at least in the Western Conference Finals.
He finished the season with 22.9 PPG, 6.9 APG and 4.0 RPG.
SG Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is the other “Splash Brother”, who complimented Steph Curry in providing most of the perimeter offense for the Warriors this season. His stroke is beautiful, and he increased his production from just the catch-and-shoot to attacking the basket more this season.
He was the key to the first two games of the playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs, because once he fouled out in Game 1, the Warriors couldn’t stop the Spurs and he put up 34 points in Game 2. However, he disappeared the rest of the series and consistency is one of the items he needs to improve upon.
Klay can shoot the three and drive to the basket, but he has had problems with his ball-handling skills and his lack of finesse with his layups. These are items that he will need to work on this summer, especially when he is playing with the talent of the USA National Team.
He established himself as the Warriors best perimeter defender this season and will continue to man-up against the opposition's best ball handler. With his athleticism, wingspan and size, he will improve, since he is only 23 years old.
He also increased his rebound total from 2.4 to 3.7 RPG in one year, but he ranked last in free throws attempted per game with only 1.9 attempts per game.
His stats for the year were 16.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 2.6 threes.
SF Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes had a good yet inconsistent rookie season with the Golden State Warriors, but when playoff time arrived, Barnes looked like a seasoned professional.
Barnes was known primarily during the season for his arena-rocking slam dunk over Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikolai Pekovic that is shown above.
He then got people’s attention with his reverse slam against the Nuggets, where the Warriors stole one against the team with the best home record in the league. He parlayed that effort by being one of the most consistent players against the San Antonio Spurs by single-handedly leading a comeback in Game 4 of the series.
He will need to continue at the same playoff level as he plays against top-tier talent during Team USA minicamp. Consistency was his biggest weakness, because he would disappear for periods during the regular season.
He ended the season with 9.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 1.2 APG.
PF David Lee
David Lee had a breakout year for the Golden State Warriors this season. He earned the first All-Star invite since last century and at the end of the season he earned all-NBA third team honors.
During the playoffs, Lee tore his right hip flexor and was supposed to miss the rest of the year. His body healed quicker than normal, and he fought through the rest in order to contribute in both playoff series.
He led the league with the number of double-doubles this season with 56 and was a key portion of the front court with center Andrew Bogut missing most of the season. His rebounding was solid, but he still lacked somewhat on the defensive end.
He also faded at the end of the season since he was playing with a lot of wear and tear. The success of the team in the playoffs without Lee also raised a lot of questions.
He finished the season with a line of 18.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 3.5 APG.
C Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut saw more of the bench this season than he saw of the floor. He was sidelined by a more serious procedure than originally thought and he missed 38 straight games.
When he did comeback in the playoffs, fans were delighted with his performance as he took away the paint and forced teams to shoot from the perimeter. He played stellar defense and made key blocks in the time that he put in.
In the playoffs and the postseason, he was hampered by the ankle problems. He put out the effort, but his body just couldn't respond. He also needs to improve upon his free-throw percentage as Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich went with the Hack-a-Bogut strategy in the playoffs.
A healthy offseason and a full training camp should bring Bogut back to one of the top centers in the NBA. He has the talent and even with the limited minutes, he has made most fans forget about Monta Ellis.
He played at an A level during the playoffs, but he will be downgraded because of his limited playing time and the long regular season absence.
Bogut’s limited stat line was 5.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.1 APG and 1.7 BPG.
C Festus Ezeli
Festus Ezeli had a productive rookie season as he was forced into starting duty because of the Andrew Bogut injury. He brought his big body and used his defensive presence to fill the paint.
His duties changed in the playoffs, as he came in primarily as a substitute to relieve the dominant Bogut when he ran into foul trouble. He did start three out of the 12 playoff games and was solid on defense.
His biggest deficiencies during the season were his ball-handling skills and his lack of offensive moves. If he can develop a go-to post move during the offseason, Ezeli will be depended upon a lot more during the regular season.
He improved upon his passing ability too, as he held on to the ball long enough to find a teammate, instead of passing it quickly to the first player he saw.
Ezeli averaged 2.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 0.95 BPG during the season
C Andris Biedrins
Andris Biedrins continued his complete fear and allergy to the ball on offense, as he is scared to shoot free throws. On defense, he contributed more than expected, but nothing of value compared to his $9 million salary.
The Warriors will be extremely happy to see this once dangerous big man set sail into retirement or play in a Russian league. His biggest talking points were why was he so tan and the amount of gel that he puts in his hair.
Are those basketball related? No, but the work he put in during the playoffs actually surprised Coach Mark Jackson and all of the fans in attendance.
He will never be the player that he once was and he only focuses on his defensive abilities. The best the Warriors can hope for is that he can contribute sporadically and help solve some cap problems when he leaves as a free agent or is traded before the start of next season’s free agency period.
Biedrins put up 0.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 0.79 BPG in his limited playing time.
PG Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Jack was a steal when he was acquired as part of the Dorell Wright trade. He was the cool customer who lifted the Warriors when they needed his toughness, and his trademark floaters helped fuel the offense.
In the playoffs, he had the same effect, as he helped the Warriors come back from deficits and keep them in games. The only problems that he gets criticized for are that he dribbles too much, makes some key turnovers and he doesn’t always play the grittiest defense.
But all in all, he was the fallback that the Warriors needed in case anything happened to Steph Curry. He could take over the point while Curry transferred to the two guard in crunch time.
He was also the guy that was called in when a clutch shot was needed throughout most of the season. Curry had not taken that leader role yet, so Jack was mostly the go-to guy.
The biggest concern with Jack is now his free-agent status and whether or not he will be too expensive for the Warriors to re-sign. He definitely left his heart in the Bay, but time will tell if his checkbook remains here too.
Jack’s line for the year was 12.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 5.6 APG.