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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.