Let’s call it like it is. Making lists and rankings is lazy. It makes for lazy writing and lazy reading. Create some guidelines (rank the Warriors roster based on how well each player is doing at the time of this post), copy and paste your topic (which I literally did by going to warriors.com/team/roster) and write a short blurb about each subject. I had a 30-minute writing window today, so this is what I’m delivering. Laziness (finding a photo of someone looking like they were holding up numbers on their hands and bolding the names below took 29 of those minutes).
So sit back on your couch while watching TV and enjoy this post without really having to pay much attention to what you’re reading.
#1: Steph Curry – He inexplicably didn’t make Grantland’s best shooters in the NBA list, but he’s at the top of this one. He’s the best Warrior since Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway. Don’t expect him to move from this #1 spot for the rest of the season.
#2: David Lee – During crucial moments of the Miami Heat game, I actually thought to myself, “The Warriors need to get it to Lee on this possession.” Not once in his Warriors tenure have I thought that about Lee. He has been on a tear lately, playing the best basketball of his career. I don’t know what was going on earlier in the season and I don’t know if he can keep this great play going, but for now, he deserves this spot.
#3: Andrew Bogut – Also playing the best basketball of his Warriors tenure is the Warriors defensive-doer-of-all-things-down-low, who sets better picks than “The Wall” in Game of Thrones, and is a behind-the-back-passing-off-the-glass-dunking, ball moving center. He’s the Anquan Boldin of the Warriors. A beast who should not be messed with. He’s just looks a little funny when he runs, but that’s okay (bend those knees a little).
#4: Andre Iguodala – Now-a-days Andre ain’t taking shots / but he’s got some to make / like his game-winning three / with the flick of his wrist / not a bunch of brickerish / and basketball fans act like they forget about Dre.
In 13 games since returning from his hamstring injury, Iguodala has taken five shots or less nine times. He is still impacting the game with defense (ask Andray Blatche, who was stripped on back-to-back shots by Iguodala) and ball movement. He’s not at full strength, so it’s easy to forget about Dre, but he’ll get there soon enough.
#5: Klay Thompson – You could make an argument for Klay at #4 until Iguodala gets healthy. He takes some heat for not passing to Curry as much as he should, even though he has done a better job finding him in recent games. But while taking heat from fans he takes defensive heat off Curry. He helps Curry by just being on the floor. His shot is a threat that keeps defenses honest. If you lose Klay, Curry will find him. While he’s not a great open court or perimeter passer, his offensive pin-downs have been excellent this season –bouncing a pass into the post or driving to the basket. Lastly, his 1-on-1 defense is crucial to the team’s success.
#6: Draymond Green – Everybody loves Draymond, and for good reason. Smart, a great defender, getting better on offense (still not good, but better), amazing hustle and an enforcer. He’s been a bit quiet since his ankle injury, but he’s still making more of an impact than the next player on this list.
#7: Harrison Barnes – Ideally, Barnes would be #3 or #4 on this list, but he just hasn’t produced as expected this season. All the skills and athletic ability are there. He could stand to improve his ball handling, but his biggest area of improvement is in his head. Either he doesn’t know how good he is or his role off the bench is impacting his game more than anyone predicted. Imagine Barnes with the confidence of Nate Robinson. He’s still very young and in his second season, so there’s hope he can reach All-Star levels. Don’t count him out yet.
#8: Marreese Speights – After a rough start to the season, Speights’ game has been as consistent as that towel lint that always finds a place on top of his head (like a Who on Horton). He’s still not shooting that well, but his shot selection is better and his rebounding and defense have picked up a little. He’s also moving the ball better. Still, if there was anyone else left on the bench, he’d be lower on this list.
#9: Kent Bazemore – He beats out Toney Douglas solely based on minutes. Neither is providing anything to the team at this point. In a game where the starting guards desperately needed a rest, Bazemore and Douglas forced Mark Jackson to play Curry and Thompson extended minutes in the loss to the Nets. But they were gassed and couldn’t save the win streak. Bob Myers is working hard to get some backcourt help and it’s obvious why.
#10: Toney Douglas – See #9: Kent Bazemore. Has Douglas played at all this season outside of the Spurs game? If he has, I haven’t even noticed.
#11: Ognjen Kuzmic – In garbage time against Milwaukee, Kuzmic looked like Wilt Chamberlain on the glass and Gheorghe Muresan with his decelerated offensive moves. This kid needs a lot of work, but at least he’s tall.
#12: Nemanja Nedovic – Absent from this 7-game road trip, Nedovic received some D-League playing time. The only time I travel to Santa Cruz is during the summer to enjoy the beach, Boardwalk and Salt Water Taffy. So I really don’t know how he did. Hopefully he’s getting confidence, because he had none in the big leagues.
N/A: Festus Ezeli and Jermaine O’Neal – It sure would be nice to have one of these guys right now. The injury and time away from the game is unfortunate for the developing Ezeli. Even when he returns, don’t expect too much early on. Especially on the offensive end.