Final Warriors Grades: Not Straight As, but Pretty Good

I grade on expectations and I didn’t expect this: 47 wins despite all their injuries and a trip to the second round of the playoffs. With that in mind, here are my grades for the Warriors.

GM Bob Myers

Grade: A

Comment: The Warriors’ front office nailed the three draft picks. PG Jarrett Jack was perhaps the biggest steal of last offseason. And Carl Landry was a great signing, too. The four-year, $44 million extension for Stephen Curry looks like a bargain. After a rough start (Charlie Bell amnesty/Jeremy Lin release for DeAndre Jordan), Myers and his staff have put together a string of good moves.

Coach Mark Jackson

Grade: A

Comment: I as much as anyone has nitpicked at Jackson’s decisions/approaches. In print and in person. But in the end, he had three rookies in the rotation, a center in and out of the lineup and two defensive weaknesses in the starting lineup. And the Warriors won 47 games. Then, he went and outcoached George Karl before giving Gregg Popovich a good scare.

PG Stephen Curry

Grade: A

Comment: After the All-Star break, his game really took off. He averaged 26 points and 7.4 assists, which was 5th and 9th best in the league after the break. After that, he got even more dominant in the playoffs. He ranks 5th in the playoffs in scoring (23.4), 2nd in assists (8.1) and second in total minutes (497). And you could argue he wasn’t at his best.

SG Klay Thompson

Grade: B

Comment: Thompson gets a lot of criticism for his disappearing act on offense and Klay-ups. But the truth is, Thompson’s defense has been vital for the Warriors as he defends the best guard on the court. He also proved to be willing to take and make a big shot.

SF Harrison Barnes

Grade: B

Comment: He looked like the next for stretches in the playoffs. It was certainly a revelation, but Barnes benefitted from favorable match-ups and the absence of David Lee. The Warriors need him to be reliable on both ends and to rebound consistently. If so, the playoffs may be a coming out party.

PF David Lee

Grade: C+

Comment: Once the veteran you can count on, Lee is now somewhat of an uncertainty. After the Warriors took off without him in the playoffs, the question now becomes how can Golden State play the way it did in the playoffs WITH Lee. Sure, on offense, the Warriors missed the attention he draws. But on defense they were more effective and still rebounded well. Lee also faded a bit, thanks to injuries in the second half. He’ll have to remind people why he was an All-Star next season.

C Andrew Bogut

Grade: B-

Comment: He was rocking a strong D before the playoffs. But then he became a force on D. With one leg and all the anti-inflams he could take, Bogut gave a glimpse of just how good he can be. It was quite a sight considering it was scarcely seen in the regular season. Before the playoffs, he was more talk than game. Now, Warriors fans who once chided the team for trading Monta Ellis can’t help but acknowledge Bogut’s beasting.

PG Jarrett Jack

Grade: A

Comment: He was vital for the Warriors all season. He dribbles the ball too much and his defense disappeared in the playoffs. But can you imagine where Golden State would be without Jack. His toughness and leadership became part of the DNA of the Warriors, even though he dribbled too much and became turnover prone later in the season.

PF Carl Landry

Grade: B

Comment: He was really good early in the regular season, as the Warriors got out to a 30-17 start. But towards the latter part of the year, he became a jump shooting big man who was sketchy on the boards. Landry rebounded in the playoffs and often was the Warriors’ best hopes at high-percentage offense.

C Festus Ezeli

Grade: C+

Comment: He lost his starting job to Andris Biedrins for a stretch because he took his foot off the gas. But eventually, he reclaimed his status as Bogut’s backup. Still raw and prone to mistakes, Ezeli has some work to do. But he got better at catching the ball and finishing and was a solid defensive presence in the playoffs.

F Draymond Green

Grade: B

Comment: The Warriors’ rookie glue guy really came alive in the playoffs. When his shot is falling, he is especially impressive because he also rebounds and does the little things good teams need. His shot fell at a 42.9 percent clip in the playoffs, which was a drastic improvement from the 32.7 percent he shot in the regular season. If he can consistently produce on offense, he figures to be a factor for the Warriors.

SF Richard Jefferson

Grade: D

Comment: He was failing after missing those free throws in Game 1 that would’ve prevented the Warriors from choking. It was a great opportunity to make his mark after an unimpressive regular season. He bounced back in Game 2, but not nearly enough to make up for those two free throws.

C Andris Biedrins

Grade: C-

Comment: I think he should have played more. Usually when he was in the game, he gave the Warriors’ something. If he wasn’t making $9 million and hadn’t fallen so far from serviceability, we’d be looking at Biedrins much differently. When he got his chance in the playoffs, he gave the Warriors’ something good. That’s saying something for Biedirns. No, it isn’t worth his salary, but it’s something.

G Kent Bazemore

Grade: B

Comment: Hard not to watch Bazemore and wonder what could be. He has size, athleticism and length. He’s got a great attitude and some skills to boot. And as much as any guy on the end of the bench, he contributed to his team’s chemistry and energy. He mattered, and that’s big for an undrafted rookie discovered in summer league.

Marcus Thompson

  • Stan

    I know one thing..when the last shot needs to be taken- Lebron takes it. How many times this year did the Warriors let Jack,Landry,Green take the last shot? And why we lost most of those games. Just as the Pacers coach takes the blame to not put Hibbert in the lane,Jackson has to admit he needs to design ways to get Curry the ball in crunch time. YOUR BEST should take the last shot,not who you want to pat on the back and say nice try.

  • Grey Warden

    Hard for Curry to take the last shot because he isn’t fast enough to blow by his defender. There are 2 ways for Curry to get open for a shot:

    1) Set a screen for him
    2) Have Curry do some fancy dribbling, hoping the defender goes for the crossover fake, and go for a step-back jumpshot.

    And this is only if a single defender is on him. Double team him and there’s practically no chance for him to get a good shot up.

  • http://mercurynews.com antispy3

    let’s see. . .clyde Frasier routinely took the last shot in his day for the Knicks. not fleet afoot. Oscar Robertson, for all his splendor, fell into that category. . .Charles Barkley would draw the double team 7 still get his shot off. . .Earl Monroe, before he was a knick was the go-to guy for the Bullets. he had bad knees. couldn’t be considered as a fast guy. . .John Havelicek. . .

    Steph will learn how to set his defender up; Barnes & Thompson become more relevant threats as the defense concentrates on Steph.

    Steph has only scratched the surface of his game. As he slows down Tony Parker has learned how to set up his defender; how to keep him off balance. And then he dishes to, say, Many Ginoboli, who thrives on those situations. . .

    So now y’all are gonna gang up on Steph? Where do you suppose Lee is in his career? Hasn’t he probably plateaued? Is he going to develop some new skill to set himself apart from the other 4′s?

    Steph, Barnes & Thompson are the future of the W’s. They got a taste of playoff success & now they’re gonna want more. Plus they all could earn more dollars. . .

    Sheesh. . .ripping Steph because your feelings are hurt by a critique of Lee? you guys really support your team! Three successful playoff runs in 30 years & just because some people are willing to speak the truth you want to slaughter the golden calf?

    You pick ONE charaterization of Jackson regarding Curry; how ‘bot robbed for all star laurels, one of the best shooters playing in the best shooting backcourt of all time, all the boquets coach Jack lauded upon Curry & you want to represent Jackson & your opinion with ONE comment? Wow. . .

    I bet almost all of you that have your panties in a bind are white. If I’m wrong, well to err is human. .

    But know this; I’m white. That’s just for the sake of identification. I also happen to be color blind. I just want to see the W’s maximize their potential. . .the best should be in store for this team. They have a chance, now, to really do something special.

    Can’t stand pat, folks. . .

  • GSRedd

    I like David Lee. He, like Jack, like Curry, were central to our regular season success. A lot of individuals think Jack should have a lower grade because of his ‘over dribbling’ and turnover issues that were pronounced in the playoffs, but as MT said the expectation of Jack this season were nowhere near what we got out of him. Lee on the other hand, once an All Star, and once again an All Star, proven as a player for us last season, and performed better this season. Exceeded expectation, yes. Greatly?, uhm…, maybe not, but I do think better than marginally. C+ may be a little under graded, maybe not, its a difference of opinion. I would have graded him a B or B+ because I didn’t for-see the consistent 20/10 double doubles.

    Future with or without Lee, would like to have it with Lee, but I can see what MT sees, Lee has value for trade right now, and his game is near it’s apex, and the Dub’s proved they could contend without him on the floor, during the 1st round of playoffs. Bogut, healthy, would minimize Lees rebounds, so those double doubles will become hard to come by. Barnes progress will create the defensive split of opposing teams, as will B Rush’s healthy return. Lee’s offense becomes decreased by these factors, and his defense…well let’s say thank god for Mark Jackson instilling a defensive framework for the team.

    I’m sure my comments will be blasted. I like Antispy3′s comments, and agree that blasting other players does not really support the W’s.

    I have my likes, my ‘waiting to see consistency or improvements’, and a few ‘hope we can trade (these largely because of limited playability and large dollar contracts)’. I have the jerseys(not signed yet) for 3 of the players on my like list: Curry, Barnes, and Lee, but like Antispy3, I am looking for W’s future success and improvement as we see it. Lee, I hope can exceed the expectation I have with the framework I listed.

    Let Bogut beast, Barnes and B Rush soar, and Curry flame-on, WITH Lee 20/10 double doubling, believe you me, I will gladly eat my evaluation.

  • http://ibabuzz.com antispy3

    Thank you, GSRedd. Your supportive comments allow me to contemplate intangibles that might change D. Lee’s grade.

    Despite my comments I didn’t opine on a grade for D. Lee; I, too would think his grade should be closer to a B or B + than a C +. Sure, he is established & his expectations surpass those of his teammates but he unselfishly changed his game to suit the needs of the W’s as the season progressed.

    As such his contributions cannot merely be statistically quantified. In addition his impact was marginalized by his “evolutionary process. . .” So, in the final analysis Lee’s grade should be in tune with a “sliding scale. . .”

    With Bogut in the lineup Lee’s contributions inside weren’t as required. His rebound totals went down & he was espected to “d” up on the perimeter more than life before Bogut.

    When Curry was hurt or his game was off Lee’s offensive impact became imperative. . .so one must consider Lee’s versatility & self sacrifice for “the greater good” of the W’s game to game adjustments into his final analysis. . .just to embrace total objectivity. . .

  • http://na non-warrior

    Your grading method leaves something to be desired. Let’s say we have a classroom of students and Mr. Genius Student gets 97% on a test, better than everybody else in the class. Well, I guess he gets a “D” because he normally scores 100%. Get real.

  • MickMickMick

    Your C+-graded David Lee just made third-team all-NBA, along with those other losers James Harden, Dwight Howard, Paul George and D-Wade.

    He’s the only player in the NBA with an average of 18 pts, 11 rebs and 3 assts. THE ONLY ONE. He led the NBA with 31 games of 20+ pts and 10+ rebs. Dubs were 25-6 in those games.

    Apparently, you thought so highly of David Lee before the season that you said to yourself, “if he hits marks that no other NBA player can, and makes third team all NBA, then that’s barely satisfactory in my book.”


  • http://mercurynews.com antispy3

    The parallels between classroom grading & grading NBA players are mind boggling. . .why, even a fifth grader. . .

  • Gregg Dieguez

    Can we see the grades WITHOUT expectations? There’s no way to know what yours were. The team finished 6th in the West, despite important longlasting injuries, and then ALMOST embarrassed the Spurs. So let’s see no-handicap grades.

    Second, as I recall, 3 veterans missed 5 of 6 foul shots down the stretch in game 1, and how about those turnovers (?!@#$%^), so let’s not just pick on Jefferson.

    Lots of good insight in the text, thanks.