Andre Gomes NBA Golden State Warriors 2010-2011 Season Preview

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Andre Gomes NBA Golden State Warriors 2010-2011 Season Preview

 

2009/10 Review:

At last Don Nelson passed Lenny Wilkens for first all-time on the list of the NBA’s winningest coaches when “his” Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 7, 2010, achieving his 1,333rd career win. Besides this highlight, the Warriors have nothing positive to show from last season.

Once again, they were by far the league’s fastest paced team on the court, but their offensive efficiency was far from belonging to the top and with their notorious small ball play, they were completely outmuscled and outrebounded by their opponents through the regular season.
Their rebound margin average was a league low - 9.66 rebounds per game – it means that the Warriors were outrebounded by almost 10 boards in every single game in average during the regular season! That’s insane! In fact during this Nelson’ tenure in Golden State, the Warriors were always an awful rebounding team:

09-10 30th -9.66
08-09 30th -5.06
07-08 29th -3.85
06-07 30th -5.00

Midway the season, they sent one of their best players Stephen Jackson to Charlotte for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic in another bizarre trade for the Warriors.

Rookie Stephen Curry showed some interesting stuff in his first season in the NBA, as he isn’t simply another one-dimensional offensive shooter player, he has also some playmaking abilities and with him, the Warriors have already shifted gears and turn to him instead of Monta Ellis for the future.

Despite all the struggles, the Warriors were a “consistent” team during the regular season, but for the bad reasons as after winning 6 games in October/November, they have won 3, 4, 4, 4 and 5 games in the following 5 months of the competition.

2009/10 Advanced Stats:

Pace 1st 103.5
Offense 15th 105.0
Defense 28th 108.5
Rebounds 30th -9.66

2010/11 Outlook:

Projected Depth Chart:

PG: Stephen Curry, Charlie Bell, Jeremy Lin
SG: Monta Ellis, Reggie Williams
SF: Dorell Wright, Vladimir Radmanovic, Rodney Carney
PF: David Lee, Brandan Wright, Ekpe Udoh
C: Andris Biedrins, Louis Amundson, Dan Gadzuric

Now that Don Nelson is gone, the Warriors appointed Keith Smart as their new head coach. Smart has been preaching an increased focus on defense this year, he served the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Warriors, giving him the longest tenure of any assistant coach in franchise history, so apparently he should know the personnel that he will coach this season…

In just one year, the organization went from choosing Monta Ellis as their “franchise player” to Stephen Curry. Everyone knew that Curry would be an excellent shooter player because his shooting abilities are really great, but Curry showed more than that in his rookie season: he can pass and command the floor too!

After the All Star break, in which his role with the team was fully consolidated, Curry averaged 22.1 points and 7.7 assists per game! He shot 44% from three despite shooting almost six times per-game. He was also third in the league in steals last year, averaging 1.9 per game! Already in this summer, he was a key part of the Gold Medal winning Team USA and I have pretty sure that this was a valuable experience for him in terms of developing his character.

Monta Ellis is now playing at the Shooting Guard position – his natural position by the way and last season he was able to play 64 games. Ellis was one of the best scorers of the league with his 25.5 points per game, while shooting a respectable mark of 45% and also established a career high in assists (5.3 assists per game), so he wasn’t that bad last season. However, no one benefited from the “Don Nelson’ system” more than him. No player attempted more field goals per game than Ellis last season with 22 Field Goals attempted per game! Also no player in the league committed more Turnovers per game than him: 3.8 TO/game! These two personal facets hurt him in his overall value, so this year with a new Head Coach, this will be a test for Ellis. Eventually, he will be involved in some trade speculation through the season, so let’s see how he will handle the pressure.

With Curry and Ellis on the court, the Warriors have probably the most explosive backcourt duo in the league, but quite possible the worst defensive backcourt unit as well. The bread and butter of this franchise has been trying to win by outscoring their opponents, but even the well oiled Phoenix Suns couldn’t win it all at their prime nor the Warriors will with this kind of combination.

David Lee was the biggest offseason addition for the Warriors and he is coming off a season that saw him average 20.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.0 steals, while shooting 54.5% from the floor in New York. Curiously Anthony Randolph is in New York, while Lee is in the bay area so it will be nice to compare the career of these two players with their new teams. The Warriors badly need an interior presence that can assure some rebounds per game, but curiously Lee couldn’t avoid the Knicks to be the 3rd worst rebounding team last season. Nevertheless, Lee is a considerable improvement for the Warriors at the Power Forward position and in an expected high tempo system his numbers will always be great to monitor, however he is paying to be the difference maker in the frontcourt, so his responsibilities are way bigger right now.

One of the biggest reasons for the Warriors went from a bad to a terrible rebounding team was the absence and the bad overall play from the center Andris Biedrins. After posting three straight quality seasons including a truly breakout season in the previous year, Biedrins played only 33 games last season, but even when he was healthy his lack of confidence was simply devastating to even watch. He averaged just 5.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for the Warriors and his lack of confidence was well notorious on his unbelievable FT% - just 16% or 4-25 from the line!

With a new head coach and being reportedly healthy for this season, Biedrins is primed to make a bounce back this year. With Lee at his side, the Warriors have the potential to be a much improved rebounding team this season and their competitiveness will depend on this.

The Warriors also added Dorell Wright in the free agency and he is the expected to be the starter at the Small Forward position. Wright averaged 7.1 points per game and 46% shooting in 71 games last year with the Heat, but injuries have been a huge factor during his career. Now playing in a friendlier player system, he can take advantage of it. On the other side, “his” backup Reggie Williams was a pleasant surprise last year. Williams played 24 games with the Warriors as a D-League call-up last season and dropped 15.2 ppg on 50%, while grabbing 4.6 rebounds per game.

In an attempt to improve their toughness and defensive prowerness, the Warriors drafted Ekpe Udoh with the 6th overall pick and potentially his shot blocking and interior defense will help the team in the long haul. Unfortunately, Udoh got injured and he is out of the competition for several months.

The Warriors are in a rebuilding process with a new ownership, so their future is quite uncertain. They have an exciting young player like Stephen Curry to start the foundation, but you won’t find such unbalanced roster like the Warriors have through the rest of the league. When they are hot, they will be a dangerous team especially at home, but if they can’t solve their rebounding and defensive problems, then they will be eaten alive by the best teams in the league.

  • A VERY FAIR ASSESMENT, IF THEY CAN SOLVE THEIR REBOUNDING WOES, THEY COULD SURPRISE A LOT OF PEOPLE THIS SEASON. D. LEE SHOULD BE A GREAT ADDITION

  • Thanks dozur!

    Louis Amundson underwent surgery to repair his broken right index finger Monday, probably he will miss at least six weeks.

    Dan Gadzuric will fill some minutes but David Lee certainly will play some minutes at center as well.

  • Been to each of the preseason games and looking forward to the rest of the season. Pretty fair and accurate assessment.