The magical playoff run for the Golden State Warriors has unfortunately come to a close. The San Antonio Spurs closed the series against the Warriors with 94-82 victory, and though the box score looks like a blowout, the game was close up until the very last minutes.
Let’s take a closer look at how each player did in the Warriors last game of the 2012-2013 season.
Point Guard: Stephen Curry
During the course of this offseason, Stephen Curry become a physical embodiment of the spirit of the Warriors. He was largely underrated, passed over for an All-Star nod, and his true potential only began to show in the post-All-Star break. Curry’s skill and potential was demonstrated on the national stage as he took the playoffs by storm, and at the age of 25, he is undeniably a superstar.
In Game 6, Curry scored a game high 22 points, going 10-of-25, and scoring half of his points in just the second quarter. He struggled from beyond the arc, making just two of his eight attempts. He also picked up six assists and four rebounds.
Over the course of his career, people point to Stephen Curry’s defense as one of his weaker points, but it was clear that he stepped his defense up in last night’s game. His primary defensive matchup, Tony Parker, went just 3-of-16, due in no small part to Curry’s defensive efforts.
Although Game 6 was a disappointing end to a truly fantastic season, Stephen Curry demonstrated that he is just at the peak of his carer and, should he stay healthy, he will mature into one of the greatest point guards in the modern era.
Overall Grade: A
Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson
We have seen two Klay Thompsons this postseason. We have seen the Klay Thompson that plays lockdown on-ball defense, that scores 34 points against the Spurs in the offseason, that averages 18 points a game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent from downtown on six attempts. But in the last four games, we have seen another Klay Thompson. One that averages only 10 points a game on 34 percent shooting from the field and only three attempts from beyond the arc.
Game 6 provided no solace for Thompson as he made just four of his 12 attempts, and although he made clutch shots, he found himself in the same rut as his previous games.
Unfortunately, the sophomore swingman finished his 2012-2013 as the latter. The Washington State University product has a lot on his mind as the season ends, namely his culpability in the end of the Warrior’s playoff run, and hopefully these thoughts motivate him to train during the offseason.
With the rise of Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson will not just carry over his position as the second scoring option into the next season, he will need to earn it.
Overall Grade: C+
Small Forward: Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes has become the Warriors story of the Warriors. After experiencing undue amounts of hype during his high school years, Barnes found himself unable to live up to the hype, and his draft stock depreciated as a consequence. His play was largely quiet during the 2012-2013 regular season as he only averaged nine points and four rebounds.
After David Lee’s injury in Game 1 of the postseason, Barnes was thrust into the national spotlight, and the player who was overrated so much that he became underrated delivered beyond all expectations. In the course of the postseason run, he has averaged 16 points and six rebounds, but beyond that, he has demonstrated his mental maturity beyond his years and also a skill ceiling that has not yet been reached. The most unbelieveable fact about him is that he still just a rookie of 20 years.
He did not have a great game in the final game of the playoffs, scoring nine points on 40 percent shooting, but what the stats don’t show is how he took one of the hardest falls in the playoffs, got six stitches, and came back no more than five minutes later with a swollen right eye and still played with intensity.
Harrison Barnes represents the team’s youth and inexperience, but also its high potential and promise for future seasons.
Overall Grade: B
Power Forward: Festus Ezeli
Festus Ezeli filled the role of starting power forward in Game 6, a role that has been filled by many people during this postseason. Unfortunately, he didn’t really do anything in his 23 minutes of game time, finishing the night with just 2 points, going 0-of-2 from the field and only making two of his four free throws. He did manage to rack up seven boards, but his early foul trouble limited his play.
The power forward role will be the most flexible going forward, and is clearly still the least defined for the offseason. Hopefully David Lee recovers fully and he can come back in full force for the next season.
Overall Grade: C
Center: Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut played the least of all the starters in Game 6, logging only twenty minutes of game time, probably due to his ongoing battle with injuries.
He finished the night with three points, making only one of his three field goal attempts, but grabbed seven rebounds. The Australian center has struggled with injuries all season long, and he was clearly hobbled in last nights game.
Throughout this postseason, Bogut has demonstrated himself as a capable defender and a strong post presence when he is at 100 percent, but unfortunately he could not finish the season as such.
Overall Grade: B-
Sixth Man: Jarrett Jack
If you would have told me two weeks ago that I would have been yelling at Klay Thompson for taking shots when he should be giving them to Jarrett Jack, I would have called you crazy.
The 29 year old Sixth Man has averaged 17 points on 50 percent shooting this postseason, making an average of six of his 12 attempts. He has also averaged four rebounds, five assists, and one steal in his last 12 games. He has also seen an increase in his minutes, from just under 30 minutes in the regular season to about 36 minutes in the playoffs.
In Game 6, Jack finished the night with 12 points, making six of his 12 attempts. He logged 32 minutes, and played the most behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Though Jack has been criticized in the past for taking too many shots or making mental errors, he has demonstrated himself as a reliable backup point guard and someone who can add instant offense when the Warriors’ play is getting too stagnant. Hopefully the Dubs can retain Jarrett Jack this postseason.
Overall Grade: A+
The Warriors bench really stepped up in their last effort of the season, scoring a cumulative 21 points on 38 percent shooting and racking 16 up sixteen boards. Andris Biedrins played his most minutes of the postseason, logging in eleven minutes off the bench to help a hobbled Andrew Bogut and a Festus Ezeli who ran into foul trouble.
Carl Landry and David Lee lead the bench in scoring, with Landry scoring 11 points on 50 percent shooting and grabbing seven rebounds to boot. Lee, who has been playing one one leg since Game 1 of the Denver series, logged an impressive 12 minutes. Lee scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds.
Overall Grade: B+