Golden State Warriors: Predicting the Statistical Leaders for the 2011-12 Season
The Warriors are a team in flux right now. Their star player is rumored to be traded, and they have two star guards who have very similar playing styles.
Known for their electric offense, the players' stats have been impressive, but the number in the win column hasn't.
All these statistics are using the Warriors' current roster, assuming that Ellis isn't traded.
Inspired by Grant Ridner's article, I decided to predict the Warriors' leaders in each major statistical category.
Steals Per Game
Ellis was third in the league in steals last year with 2.1 a game, and there's no reason why he can't do it again. While so many fans criticize his defense, the truth is that for a 6'3" guard, his man-on-man defense is stellar.
Unfortunately, he goes for steals too often, leaving his opponents with an open lane to the basket.
Stealing the ball is the only highlight of Ellis' defense, and the reason why I say his man-on-man D is so good is only because he can steal the ball without a problem.
When he's defending a guy, he can really bother him, but if he goes for a steal and misses, the guy just hit a pull-up jumper or drove to the basket.
So his man-on-man defense is great, but his man-to-man defense definitely needs some work.
As he learns more about the art of defense, not only with his man-to-man D improve, but his overall steals number should go up a bit.
Last Year: 2.1 SPG
Next Year: 2.3 SPG
Blocks Per Game
Udoh is a long-term project, but Larry Riley drafted him for his defense. Specifically, his ability to block and alter shots.
He was a great defender at Baylor, and started to show some of the same characteristics near the end of the season.
As he grows as a player, his defense will only improve quickly.
Blocking is his calling, and as the season begins (if it ever does), he'll show Warriors fans why management picked him No. 6 last year.
Last Year: 1.5 BPG
Next Year: 2.1 BPG
Assists Per Game
Despite his ball-handling skills, Curry will never be regarded as a pure point guard in the league due to his ability to shoot from anywhere at anytime.
However, his position doesn't take advantage of his skills, as he's still forced to play point guard.
Curry's assist numbers dipped down a bit during his sophomore year, but only minimally, and he should be getting back to work soon.
He's been working on cutting down his turnovers, which has been quite an issue for him. His assist-to-turnover ratio was below two last year, which is subpar for a starting point guard. He wasn't even in the top 50 in the entire league.
As he turns the ball over less, he'll get more opportunities on those possessions, which will surely convert into assists.
Last Year: 5.8 APG
Next Year: 8.0 APG
Rebounds Per Game
Lee's rebounding numbers dipped by nearly two a game after he came over from New York, but he did play center for the Knicks, which accounts for some of it.
However, he shouldn't be let off the hook just for playing the power forward.
Golden State's centers are Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh, who aren't exactly top-notch post players. Lee has to make up for that by grabbing as many boards as possible, considering that during the 2009-2010 season he averaged more rebounds per game than Biedrins and Udoh did this season combined.
The Warriors were one of the worst rebounding teams last year, and Lee's a huge reason why. If he picks up the slack, Golden State will get more opportunities on the offensive end, and maybe they'll start winning some more games.
Last Year: 9.8 RPG
This Year: 10.5 RPG
Points Per Game
Ellis is one of the best scorers in the league, and he produced huge numbers for the Warriors last season. He averaged a tad over 24 points last season, and was the go-to guy for Golden State all season.
He had several clutch moments over the course of the season and delivered on the expectations given to him.
Normally, his numbers would increase, as he's beginning to hit his prime, but Mark Jackson's system will be significantly slower, so expect him to not drop as many points, but his field-goal percentage will definitely increase.
Last Year: 24.1 PPG
Next Year: 23.5 PPG
As always, thanks for reading!
Please leave your ideas in the comments section.
Feel free to check out some of my other articles about the Warriors: