In David Lee the Warriors Trust
On Monday night, David Lee submitted a terrific offensive showing against the Phoenix Suns by posting up 28 points and 12 rebounds on 13-for-22 field goal shooting. On a night where Monta Ellis was cold from the field (5-for-20 shooting) and Stephen Curry missed most of the second half, Lee carried the offensive load especially in the third quarter, by scoring 15 points.
When Murphy’s Law hit the Dubs on Monday night, they went to their most consistent player so far this season and asked him to carry them. Indeed, every starter not named David Lee combined to hit 12-of-38 shots from the floor, which translates into 31.6 percent shooting.
Granted, the Warriors’ bench players were far better from the field as Brandon Rush converted 4-of-7 shots, Klay Thompson hit 4-of-6 shots and Ekpe Udoh connected on 3-of-6 attempts. Thus, the Dubs were a little more productive when they went to their bench players, but the one player that made it all happen was none other than David Lee.
His rampage on the interior attracted defenders towards him and allowed sharpshooters to get some open looks from 3-point range. And yet, despite all the extra attention, the Suns defense was helpless against him.
In fact, the only person that did a good job of defending the Florida product was Lee himself. On a few pick-and-pops with Stephen Curry, Lee uncharacteristically drifted to just a little outside of his shooting range and still fired away on the jumpers. They might have been uncontested shots, but there was a reason that the Suns gladly allowed him to put up those attempts: they trusted he would miss them.
According to Hoopdata, Lee was 0-for-5 on shots from beyond 16 feet on Monday night against Phoenix. Mind you, the closer he got to the basket, the more efficient he became — at times this may sound like a Nobel prize winning theory, but in truth it’s basic basketball — as evidenced by his shooting numbers.
From 10-to-15 feet, David Lee was 2-for-3 from the field, from 3-to-9 feet, he was 2-for-4 from the floor and right at the rim, Lee made 9-of-10 shots.
For all of the defensive resistance that Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye tried to provide at the rim, they were completely at the mercy of the Warriors’ starting power forward when he took the ball to the rim or simply rolled to the basket and scored off the catch.
Tonight, the Warriors will face off against at Portland Trail Blazers team that will probably be without LaMarcus Aldridge who sprained his ankle last night against the Washington Wizards. Hence, one should expect that Lee will primarily be matched up against Gerald Wallace as he switches to the power forward spot in the absence of his All-Star frontline partner.
In the last encounter with the Blazers, Lee submitted a 26-point night on 12-for-21 field goal shooting going head-to-head with Aldridge.
It stands to reason that Lee will have another big scoring night and will prove to his teammates as well as fans that he can be counted on to be a consistent scoring threat as well as a player that can carry them for stretches.
Perhaps it’s time that people outside of the Bay came to the realization that you can in fact rely on David Lee every night.
I mean, the Warriors seem to be doing relatively fine investing their trust in him right?Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at JM.Poulard@Warriorsworld.net.