Golden State Warriors Mid-Season Grades
After a strong and riveting start, the Golden State Warriors gave fans hope for a strong season and a possible shot at playing in the postseason. It did not take too long for the Warriors to change that record around to become a below .500 team. Injuries and lack of depth have been a main concern for this group during the first half of the season.
New faces have emerged on the team to become fan favorites while other players have fallen and could be dealt by the trade deadline, which is approaching us in about a month. With that being said, here are the individual player grades for the first half of the 2010-11 NBA season:
Monta Ellis – Monta has emerged as the Warriors' leader this season. The "one man fast-break" should be an All-Star the way he has been playing this year. As Kobe Bryant said, “his offensive game is complete.”
Ellis is unstoppable in the open court and is one of the best players in the league when it comes to taking the ball hard to the rack. His mid-range game is also one of the best in the league and is automatic. His play-making can improve, but he is a natural shooting guard and struggles at times passing the ball without Curry in the game. Monta’s perimeter defense has improved and he could be a good defender if he did not play over 40 minutes a game every night. He will be exhausted by the end of the season. Grade: A
Stephen Curry – Curry might look like he has regressed a bit, but in reality he just has a bit of the sophomore slump case. He is still the best shooter in the NBA and can still pass well, most of the time. He still struggles with turnovers because of too many fancy pass attempts. On defense, he gambles for steals numerous times which causes him to be called for silly reach in fouls. Expect Stephen to play much better in the second half of the year. Grade: B-
Dorell Wright – As expected, Wright has used the up-tempo style of play to his advantage. He leads the league in three-pointers and has been aggressive on offense. His defense is average at best, but his versatility helps him on that side of the floor. He has been better than everyone expected in a Warriors uniform. Wright will be up there in the Most Improved Player voting at the end of the year. Grade: A
David Lee – While Lee has not lived up to his huge contract, he has provided some help for Golden State. The team’s rebounding numbers are higher than they were last season. His mid-range game has been getting better as the season has progressed and it came in handy during close games, late in the fourth quarter. Lee’s passing for a big man has been amazing. He passes out of the post well to open shooters. Lee is slow for his position and his defense is below average. Grade: C+
Andris Biedrins – Nellie’s gone, but Biedrins’ game is still not up to the caliber it once was. He has shown some little signs as of late, but has struggled for most of the year so far. He has an offensive move or two but is very limited, especially with his horrid free throw shooting. His rebounding numbers are down too, but that was expected with the acquisition of Lee. Grade: D
Reggie Williams – Inconsistency is the first word that comes to mind when it comes to describing Williams. He is another one of the Warriors good D-League finds, but he can be very streaky. He is a good player to come off the bench, but can struggle and frustrate at times. But when he’s hot, he can be dangerous. Grade: C
Vladimir Radmanovic – Who knew Space Cadet has this in him? After an atrocious start to the year, he has come up big for the past couple of months. He’s provided a spark off the bench and been clutch when called upon. Grade: B-
Acie Law – Law can struggle at times finding his own shot, but is decent in creating for others. He is not the most legit back-up point guard, but he will be needed to get Ellis some rest. Grade: C-
Lou Amundson – I had big expectations for Amundson, only to be disappointed. He might be still trying to get back to where he was prior to his injury, but more will be needed from him to be seen as better than Ronny Turiaf was in a Golden State jersey. Grade: D+
Dan Gadzuric – Better than I expected and he gives it his all every minute he’s out there. He is a decent back up forward. Grade: C
Ekpe Udoh – Will never live up to being the sixth pick in the draft, but already the best interior defender on the team. Grade: B-
Brandan Wright – I thought he would be the second best player in his draft class, but the injuries have taken a toll on him to be what he had potential to be. I would not be surprised to see him dealt by trade deadline. Grade: D
Charlie Bell – Looks sharp in a suit. Grade: F+
Jeremy Lin – Not as good as advertised, but could be a solid back-up by the end of the season if given consistent minutes. Grade: C
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