David Lee had a remarkable season in 2012-13. Leading the league with 56 double-doubles, the Florida alumni became the Golden State Warriors’ first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell.
Unfortunately, his season did not end well. In his first career playoff game, Lee tore a hip flexor which limited him to being a role player in the playoffs.
Recently, Lee underwent successful surgery and is expected to participate in training camp in the fall. Using the offseason to recover, he may become a different player come next season.
Here are three bold predictions for David Lee in the 2013-14 season:
Lee will become a defensive stopper.
NBA analyst Kirk Goldsberry pointed out Lee’s disappointing interior defense ratings at the Sloan Sports Conference. Goldsberry researched and noted that opponents score 61 percent of the time when Lee is defending the paint.
In his response to Goldsberry, Lee seemed to brush it off, but he and Warriors fans would like to see improvement on the defensive side of the ball. He has claimed that he will polish he defense in the offseason, so it seems that Goldsberry’s words did get to him.
If anybody is a man of his words, he is David Lee. His defensive numbers will increase drastically. This past season, he averaged a measly 0.3 blocks per game. Do not be surprise if there’s a spike in that category.
David Lee will average less than 10 rebounds
Playing alongside a healthy Andrew Bogut may give Lee more competition for loose balls. Both players are always seeking to clean glass, which is a reason why the Warriors ranked third in the league in rebounding.
Also, Harrison Barnes can be in the mix for rebounds. Barnes’ pursuit toward missed shots is quicker than both Bogut and Lee. Going against a 7’0 center and an athletic forward can cut down Lee’s numbers on the boards.
Lee averaging fewer rebounds may not be a bad thing for the Warriors. He is an athletic forward who can run the floor faster than most. His passing ability with his athleticism can be a tool that Warriors can use on fast breaks.
David Lee will become the league’s best Power Forward
Entering his eighth season at the age of 30, Lee is now going into the prime of his career. Players in their prime usually display their career best seasons. Lee has averaged 14.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game throughout his eight-year career.
Each season he has shown improvement in a different part of his game. Now that his offense has been refined, Lee will post career-highs in points per game and field goal percentage. He is ready to make a statement and take the throne as the league’s best power forward.