Golden State Warriors: Predicting Their Rotation for the 2011-2012 NBA Season
The Golden State Warriors have all the talent to make it to the playoffs.
But for some reason, this talent just doesn't mesh that well.
Each member of the starting five is tremendous and have their own way of altering the game in a positive manner.
Here are the rest of the guys organized on their contribution level.
Jeremy Lin, PG, 6'-3"
Although he's a fan favorite, Lin doesn't really play all too often. And for good reason. He shoots a lousy 39-percent from the field and 20-percent from beyond the arc.
Charlie Bell, PG/SG, 6'-3"
He's a second- or third-string backup on a team that has been in the lottery for the past four years. And he averages nine points and 3.6 assists per 48 minutes.
Al Thornton, SF, 6'-8"
Thornton was widely regarded as a great prospect coming out of college, but he really hasn't proved it as of late. His career year came in 2009 when he averaged a somewhat decent 17 points a game. But since then, he barely scores a third of that.
Charles Jenkins, PG/SG, 6'-3"
Jenkins was actually one of the more underrated guys in the draft this year. But on a team with Lin, Bell, and Acie Law, he will have to fight for playing time. Although he won't play too much this year, look for him to steadily improve.
Backup Post Players
Andris Biedrins, C, 7'-0"
This Latvian center is the definition of disappointment. After the Warriors signed him to a ridiculous $54-million extension, he just started slacking off. When a player averages both fewer points and rebounds than he is paid in millions, there's a problem.
Louis Amundson, PF/C, 6'-9"
Amundson is probably one of the most hardworking players in the league. His hustle on the court was definitely helpful this past year, and he played very similarly to how he did back in Phoenix. He is almost as bad of a shooter as Biedrins (and that's saying something), as their combined free-throw shooting percentage (71.4%) is decent for a big man.
Jeremy Tyler, PF/C, 6'-10"
In high school, Tyler was one of the most highly touted prospects, but after playing in Europe, his stock dropped. Fortunately, the Warriors found a potential diamond in the rough in Tyler, trading cash considerations for him to the Charlotte Bobcats, who initially drafted him.
Backup Perimeter Players
Klay Thompson, SG/SF, 6'-7"
Thompson, the son of a former No. 1 overall NBA pick, is an amazing shooter. He will be a solid member of the Warriors' rotation and an important part of their future going forward, as he will probably play the role of sixth man this year.
Reggie Williams, SG/SF, 6'-6"
Williams is one of the more underrated scorers in the league right now. Per 48 minutes, the guy averages an impressive 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Not too shabby for a former D-Leaguer.
Acie Law, PG, 6'-3"
Law was rather disappointing last season, and the Warriors still haven't found a suitable backup for Curry. If he doesn't step up this year, Lin, Bell, or Jenkins certainly will.
Starting Center: Ekpe Udoh
Due to a broken wrist last July, Ekpe Udoh had to wait a long time before making his debut.
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 draft definitely earned his playing time last year under Keith Smart, who replaced him with Biedrins as the starting center as the season came to a close.
But it looks like defensive-minded coach Mark Jackson would love an intense blocking presence alongside a guy like David Lee (a liability on defense).
As a big man, Udoh will develop slowly, and the Warriors will have to wait. But it will be well worth it, and Udoh will be averaging a double-double in the next few seasons.
Just have to hope that Larry Riley doesn't overpay him like ex-general manager Chris Mullin did for Andris Biedrins.
Starting Power Forward: David Lee
All-star. Double-double machine. Great post player.
All these were used to describe Lee when he was in New York, and he didn't adjust all too well after he was traded to Golden State.
While he didn't put up terrible numbers, he just didn't rebound as well as he did during his tenure with the Knicks.
His role on the team is not to score. We have Ellis, Curry, and Wright to do that. He is there to rebound the ball, play a few pick-and-rolls with Curry, and defend.
I'd definitely be happy if he scored only 10 points if that meant that he was rebounding 12 times a game.
Will he be better next year? Yes.
Will he be worth $80 million? Probably not.
Starting Small Forward: Dorell Wright
Last year, Wright was a serious candidate to win Most Improved Player, scoring more points in the 2010-2011 season than the previous six combined.
Now that's impressive.
Look for Wright to produce even better this year and maybe even be the team's second scoring option as he's in his prime.
He scored just around as many points as David Lee but was paid nearly a fifth of the amount that the power forward was.
That's what's called a bargain.
Wright is comfortable in his role and will probably score over 20 for the next few seasons.
Starting Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis
Were you surprised at all?
Ellis is one of the best scorers in the game today and will probably do the same next year.
I'm sure he's working on his scoring efficiency over the summer, as he is constantly scrutinized for his tendency to jack up shots.
As he enters his prime, he will learn to score without being a ball hog and be a capable leader.
Mark Jackson's offense will focus on Ellis' ability to score, and without that, the Warriors would be in the cellar of the West.
Starting Point Guard: Stephen Curry
Curry is probably the only "untouchable" player on the team and will no doubt lead the team on offense.
However, he must learn to pass the ball more, as 5.8 assists doesn't really cut it. If he can elevate his game to maybe 20-22 points per game and 7-8 dimes, he will be a lethal player.
His ball-handling skills and shooting abilities make him difficult to guard, but in the next few seasons, he will learn to be a Steve Nash-type player—someone who can shoot at will but can dish the ball very well, too.
Thanks for Reading!
As always, thanks for reading!
Feel free to leave your ideas below and check out my other articles on the Warriors: