Golden State Warriors: Bust or Bang in 2009-2010
The Warriors will once again attempt to repeat their magical run from 2007 after a fallout year.
A team stripped of their "We Believe" 2007 components will look to revive themselves, as wild news/rumors are already cooking in Oakland.
The Warriors have big things looking forward into the offseason, and even bigger things as they head into next season.
From Jamal Crawford likely getting traded out of Oakland, to Baron Davis possibly returning to the Warriors, will Golden State's 2009-2010 season be a bust or bang?
Everybody strap your seatbelts, and get ready for the ultimate Golden State Warriors season preview.
Jamal Crawford: Bang
This man has likely already played his last games in Oakland.
Having long run out his welcome with the Warriors, he is expected upon the organization to opt out of his contract. There's a decent chance that Crawford refuses to do that, which would lead to a trade during the offseason or before the trade deadline next season.
The Warriors would get Crawford's terrible defense and shot selections off the books, while likely attaining another future draft pick or possibly a veteran whose best playing days are a thing of the past.
The Warriors may look to get a player with similar size as Crawford, or look toward getting a true power forward that could start or come off the bench.
Either way, the Warriors will be better off with another face replacing the ex-Knick.
They won't be getting anything worth drooling over, but a solid piece that can play defense and either rebound or have a decent perimeter game should improve the Warriors greatly.
Something that Crawford never showed under Don Nelson.
Corey Maggette: Bang
Contrary to what many believe is a liability for the Warriors, Maggette if used properly, is a tremendous asset to Don Nelson.
Averaging nearly 20 PPG and 5.5 RPG, Maggette is a solid player off the bench. He needs to give the ball up more to his teammates (Monta Ellis especially) while playing more consistent defense, but those are problems that are very fixable for the upcoming season.
Maggette is a very capable defensive player, and again his problems stem from nothing more than simple decision making.
Unlike Crawford, Maggette seemed perfectly in tune with the Warriors system anyways. With a young Anthony Randolph prone to mental breakdowns and foul trouble, Maggette provides stability off the bench at the forward spot.
Baron Davis: Bust
As glamorous as this may seem, Baron Davis will not return "home" in a sudden act of goodwill for the Bay Area.
With the "other" Los Angeles team officially drafting Blake Griffin, even the Clippers' dysfunctional management will not let go of what they overpaid to get.
As rumor had it, Baron Davis swapping places with Corey Maggette, would have done neither player a good service.
Even if Los Angeles was somehow negated of getting Griffin, and had to settle on Rubio, Davis would have stayed put anyway. Would even the Clippers management just settle on Rubio as the franchise player from the get go?
Besides, Maggette didn't end on good terms with the Clippers anyway.
Meanwhile Davis seems more than content to stay with the "rising" Los Angeles Clippers.
Andris Biedrins: Bang
Even though Biedrins will start most of the games, he's really splitting time with Ronny Turiaf. (Similar to Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla of Portland)
Which is a good thing.
On any given night, Biedrins' minutes will vary, but he can only get better and improve from here on out.
His defense is suspect at times, but the Warriors luckily have Turiaf, whose main strengths are geared toward defense.
With a decent 12 RPG, the 23-year-old will continue to improve his offensive low post presence. Look for his PPG to increase this season, which is all Golden State should worry about with him.
With Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson, Biedrins will have plenty of opportunities for buckets around the rim.
Ronny Turiaf: Bang
The Warriors' brass should thank the Lakers for giving this guy up for nothing.
He's developed into a solid defensive presence for the Warriors, something Andris Biedrins definitely lacks. The two really complement each other well, as Turiaf is the single best defensive big man Don Nelson has.
Turiaf can run well in transition, which allows another option for the blazing Monta Ellis to feed the ball in for a lay-up.
I don't consider him a "back up" center with the Warriors, but he is certainly affective coming off the bench with Maggette when Nelson wants to slow the game down.
The Bench: Bust
This is the one that really hurts Oakland this season.
For all the upsides Golden State looks forward to, the bench could very well bust the season down the drain once more.
There were a couple of memorable nationally televised games against the Lakers this season in which the Warriors lost at the wire in heartbreaking fashion.
And no sir, I'm not trying to say that the Warriors are on par with Kobe Bryant and company.
The point is that the Warriors' starters can indeed compete with many teams within the NBA, so long as they are not committing silly fouls or having mental breakdowns. They're very fixable issues, as by simply getting their mind right the Warriors can compete night in and night out.
Golden State's starters can more than compete with contenders like Utah, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, even San Antonio.
The problem is when the starting seven (including Maggette and Turiaf) need to come off for some rest, or if they are having an off night.
Many of these teams have deep and explosive benches while Golden State's bench is composed of young and unproven players.
C.J. Watson, Kelenna Azubuike, and Marco Belinelli are all promising young talents. However, none of them can give you consistent defense or dependable points when needed.
Draft Day, Brandon Jennings: Bust
If the Warriors elect to use their seventh pick on Jennings, it really wouldn't be that bad of a fit.
Although Jennings looks like a big bust in the making, he can really flourish under Don Nelson's fast paced system. His superior ball handling skills and impressive athleticism make up decently for his small size.
With that said, Jennings lacks any type of jumper or mid-range game.
Furthermore, the Warriors' cry for a POINT guard is not answered by Jennings either. In essence he's a poor man's version of Ellis.
This team could try to develop Jennings, but Don Nelson already has his hands full trying to develop their current players.
(While the Warriors will have their hands full with whoever they choose, Jennings clearly needs a tremendous investment of time for uncertain rewards)
Draft Day, Stephen Curry: Bust
Curry should be available to the Warriors on draft day, and you never know what's really cookin' up in Don Nelson's head.
Unlike Jennings, Curry has less than average athleticism. If Jennings was a poor man's Monta Ellis, Curry is a poor man's Brandon Jennings. Curry is also not a natural POINT guard.
A poor defending, nonathletic shooting guard is the last thing Golden State needs for 2009-2010.
Draft Day, Jeff Teague: Bang
The Warriors' seventh draft pick is legitimately between two players, the other being Jeff Teague.
While other notables such as Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, and Ty Lawson are available, the Warriors should look toward acquiring a point guard rather than drafting one.
Teague has a tremendous low-mid range jump shot, while having the natural ability to drive in the lane. Don Nelson couldn't have asked of anything more, as Teague could eventually develop into a solid back up player this season.
If Nelson develops him right, Teague will have no trouble getting to the line. This would allow stable points off the bench, while giving the starters that much more valuable rest.
Anthony Randolph: Bang
Don't expect Randolph's PPG or RPG to improve greatly next season, but he will mature and keep away from silly fouls compared to last year.
Randolph has decent defensive presence, and he has good rebounding ability for a rookie forward.
Everybody mentions his offensive potential for the years to come, but his rebounding and ability to contest shots is what's going to help Golden State in 2009-2010.
Brandan Wright: Bust
For the Warriors to truly contend, Wright needs to be moved out this offseason.
If Lamar Odom was considered the odd man out in Los Angeles, Wright is the odd man out here.
The biggest question the Warriors face is at the POINT guard position, followed closely followed by the four.
Wright was a stand out in college, but he's in the making to be a total bust in the NBA.
He's virtually a non-factor in most of his games, with only eight PPG and four RPG. Rebounding is a sore spot for the team, especially when your projected starting PF averages four rebounds a night.
His defense is less than impressive, while his ability to post up or drive in is very limited.
Stephen Jackson: Bang Bang
Captain Jack, at 31 years old, has revived his career from what seemed like the beginning stages of regression.
This is big news for the Warriors, as Jax emerged as the heart and soul of this team. (Something stripped after Davis' departure)
With 21 PPG, six RPG, and 6.5 APG, his regular season numbers are (top to bottom) better than those of Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu's during their respective regular seasons.
His emotional style of play inspires the young Warriors, even if it means a few technical fouls every now and then. Jackson's never-say-die attitude is something even Baron Davis couldn't match in his time with Golden State.
It seems that Jackson plays to his absolute best, if he's the soul number one player on a team.
Even during his best postseason runs with the likes of Tim Duncan, Jermaine O'Neil, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Reggie Miller, Ron Artest, and David Robinson, Jackson never was as useful or versatile as he is now.
Look for him to continue his tear into next season.
Warriors Cheerleaders: Bang Bang Bang
Warriors POINT Guard: Bang Bang Bang Bang
Whats often not discussed is the Warriors' possibility to acquire a true point guard to run the offense.
Instead of drafting a point guard, a much better alternative is to simply acquire one over the offseason.
If the Warriors move Brandan Wright or package a deal involving him, a possible trade could bring in someone who's naturally a PG.
Mike Bibby, Stephon Marbury, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller, and even Allen Iverson all are unrestricted free agents this summer.
A young PG who looks VERY good with the Warriors is Raymond Felton of the Bobcats. With 14 PPG and seven APG, Felton is first and foremost a playmaking point guard. He plays well in transition, while having better than average defense.
He's currently a restricted free agent, and might be moved before the offseason.
Rafer Alston is on good terms with Orlando's management, but who knows how things will turn out in the coming future.
If the Warriors sign a natural PG, Golden State would have one of the most lethal back courts within the league. This would allow Don Nelson to have either Ellis or Jackson in the game at all times.
The Warriors would become instant playoff contenders.
Monta Ellis: Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang
There's a reason you've seen his name at least 10 different times up until now.
By his own doing, Monta Ellis has the ability to negate all the busts Golden State faces next season.
The lack of a point guard or affective power forward, can still be manageable if Ellis continues with the way he ended last season. With the exception of LeBron James or Dwayne Wade, Monta Ellis has surpassed all when it comes to driving into the lane.
He is the greatest offensive threat for the Warriors, and he's shown potential to become an affective facilitator.
The Warriors can compete against Phoenix, Utah, New Orleans, and even Dallas to sneak into the playoffs with Monta Ellis.