Year-End Grades for Every Key Golden State Warriors Player
The Golden State Warriors are ending the 2013 year in a confusing state. The key members of the Warriors squad have shown they belong at the higher level, but the roster has too many holes to sustain it.
Is the team closer to a .500–level ballclub or is the record a result of injuries and lack of bench depth?
The answer is a culmination of factors, but careless turnovers and nobody to turn to for a quick breather are definitely setting the Dubs back.
Since we have had the Christmas parties, seen the new Adidas short-sleeve jerseys and watched another intense battle between in-state rivals, let’s take a closer look at each key Warriors player and see how they have graded out.
PG Toney Douglas
Toney Douglas has been a non-factor for the Warriors so far this year. He was signed to back up Stephen Curry, but he spent 14 games on the sideline because of a stress reaction in his left tibia.
He has provided limited production, as his current line is 4.3 PPG, 0.9 APG and 1.3 RPG through Dec. 26, and he has only scored over 10 points in two games this season. His highest assist total was in the first game of the season with four.
Douglas must find more floor time and really produce when Curry is taking a breather. Curry is the spark plug to the offense, but he will run out of gas if Douglas can’t provide enough production.
PF/C Marreese Speights
Marreese Speights must have taken an A-Rod-length look in the mirror, because he finally has shown his true skill level.
He was thoroughly unimpressive, and the fanbase wanted to figure out how to trade him or let him go. Since he finally made an appearance against the Houston Rockets on Dec. 13, he has provided a consistent effort both with his bread-and-butter jumper and an inside game, too.
The Warriors would like to get to know the more recent version of Speights and hope he can contribute on a level consistent with what Carl Landry provided last season.
His field-goal percentage has increased over 13 percentage points in the month of December, and his point total has almost doubled compared to November.
Speights' utter failure during the first month-and-a-half of the season is dragging his grade way down, but he is trying to make amends.
Through Dec. 26, Speights is averaging 5.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 0.4 APG.
C Jermaine O'Neal
Jermaine O’Neal has become the spiritual leader of the Warriors, as he has turned into a major spectator because of injuries.
He suffered a right groin strain and bruised right knee earlier in the season, but he recently had successful surgery on his right wrist. The cast was expected to be removed on Dec. 26, and O’Neal vowed to be back on the court by season’s end.
He made a significant contribution at halftime against the Toronto Raptors when the team came out flat. He jump-started a rally that cut into a 27-point deficit and gave the Warriors a victory in a must-win home game.
In his 17 games, he has put up a line of 6.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 0.8 BPG.
F Draymond Green
Draymond Green has made a significant improvement on the floor this season. He has increased his offensive numbers and provided the team with another high-quality defender.
He has earned the trust of coach Mark Jackson, and his playing time has increased in the month of December. He's turned into a guy who can be trusted with a clutch three-pointer versus his struggles last season.
Green will see the floor more in the coming year, as he provides the needed energy, toughness and mental awareness that makes the team stronger against the top teams in the conference.
Green is putting up a line of 4.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 1.5 APG through Dec. 26.
F Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes got a late start on the season by taking longer to return from a foot injury, but he has shown glimpses of the player fans saw during the playoffs.
He is now the sixth man, with a short return to his starting small forward gig due to the prolonged injury to Andre Iguodala. He is jelling with both units, but he is not showing the consistent domination that fans are craving to see.
Barnes needs to drive to the basket more and only settle for a fallback jumper if it is required. With his raw athleticism, he has to find more ways to get to the charity stripe like he did against the Clippers on Christmas night.
Coach Jackson has found increased minutes for Barnes, and all of his major statistics have improved except his rebounding and turnover totals.
Barnes needs to convert that same intensity to positioning himself and being able to rip down the extra board or two.
Through Dec. 26, Barnes has a line of 12.2 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.7 APG.
PF David Lee
David Lee is showing signs that he is returning to his All-Star status of last season.
After the double-double tag was slipping into quicksand, Lee has re-emerged with a sense of urgency. He has averaged a double-double in his past 10 games and increased his season average to a double-double.
On defense, he has actually improved and started to make plays with his feet.
He is not fouling as many times this season and is marginally improving his steals and blocks within the month of December.
Lee remains a great teammate, even though fans still insist he is a controversial player who could easily be shipped for something better. That sentiment usually follows overuse of the isolation play.
Lee is currently on a tear with frontcourt mate Andrew Bogut. Let’s hope that trend continues.
Lee's current line through Dec. 26 is 18.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.0 APG.
C Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut stands up for the team. He is not afraid to enter into any skirmish.
The Christmas night game against the Clippers was just one example of the chutzpah that he brings to the table.
Bogut hasn’t been able to bring the consistent intensity that he displayed on a bad wheel in last season’s playoffs, but he is bringing the intensity that the Dubs need.
His statistics are coming back to the neighborhood of when he was patrolling the key for the Milwaukee Bucks. Bogut has 10 straight games with double-digit boards through Dec. 26 and has found the proclivity to score again.
There is the good and the bad, though. His field-goal percentage is at an all-time high, while his free-throw percentage is at an all-time low.
Expect Bogut to keep logging the minutes and return to the younger version of himself. He should be in great shape when the Dubs really need him to make a run at the Pacific Division title.
Through Dec. 26, Bogut has a line of 7.8 PPG, 10.7 RPG and 1.8 BPG.
SG Klay Thompson
While most of the Splash Brothers attention resides around Steph Curry, Klay Thompson is continuing to improve year after year. He knows how to finish at the rim, and “Klay-ups” look to be a thing of the past.
He can light up the scoreboard from all over the floor, but the most exciting improvement is his ability to go to the rack and finish. He is even getting a few more attempts at the free-throw line this season.
When he is hot, Thompson can take over the game and deflect attention from his backcourt partner. When he is not, he struggles mightily from the field, usually coming up short with his shots.
In the Dubs’ wins, Thompson shoots an average of 49.8 percent from the field and 51.2 percent from behind the arc. However, in the loses, he struggles at only 38.2 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point territory through Dec. 26.
He needs to bring the consistency in the first half, so that he doesn’t need to overwhelm in the final frame.
He does bring the defensive effort, as he is usually paired up against the opponent’s best backcourt option.
His current line is 19.6 PPG, 3.3 APG and 2.7 RPG.
G/F Andre Iguodala
With Andre or without Andre, the team has two completely different stories.
Iguodala’s statistics are not dominant, but without him doing things only he can get done, the Warriors are mere mortals. The team is not the same without its key free-agent acquisition.
He returned from a prolonged hamstring injury to right the Dubs’ ship. The team has a 4-1 record through Dec. 26 since he came back.
On Christmas night, he made two extra-effort plays by jumping out of bounds to snag a ball and throw it off a Clipper.
His production statistics are marginally lower compared to last season, but he is shooting at career highs from the field and behind the arc.
He is a true value-added player who knows how to be unselfish and find teammates in transition.
He is currently averaging 11.1 PPG, 5.2 APG and 4.0 RPG.
PG Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is the motor to the Warriors offense. He can shoot, dish the ball and make acrobatic shots that keep the team on the fast track.
Since the return of Iguodala, Curry has been protecting the ball a lot better. He has doled out 55 helpers compared to only 13 turnovers, culminating in a 4.2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Curry has the ability to make game-winning shots with no time remaining, which is something the team hasn’t had in many years. He can single-handedly put this team on his back and carry it to victories.
He is averaging just below 40 minutes a game in December, which might have its effect in the second half of the season. However, Curry is still very young and may be able to handle the extra wear.
Curry leads the team in scoring with 23.6 PPG, 9.3 APG and 4.2 RPG through Dec. 26.