Grading David Lee's 2012-13 Season

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With Stephen Curry, Lee was a primary focal point for the Dubs offense all season long. His ability to finish with either hand makes him exceptionally awkward to guard for opponents. In addition, he led the league in many “dominant” statistics, mainly 20-point-10-rebound games, as well as double-doubles. Ironically, the last time Lee led the league in double-doubles, he was an all-star, which he was again this season.

Mar 18, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) shoots over New Orleans Hornets power forward Ryan Anderson (33) during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Warriors defeated the Hornets 93-72. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

As previously mentioned, Lee is gifted to be able to finish with either hand and has good footwork around the basket that allows him to get off his little half-hook and flip shots. But for a power forward, he has problems finishing around the basket which leads to low finishing numbers within five feet. He shoots 61.6 percent within five feet, which is lower than Curry (62.9 percent), who has to finish over bigger bodies on the regular.

In addition, Lee is commended for his mid-range type game, but again, he shoots no more than 44 percent between five and 19 feet. Granted, he does shoot 58 percent from 20-24 feet, but that’s where the lowest portion of his shots come from. So in essence, you are getting your best performance from Lee right around the basket, that’s it.

Lee is also commended for a deft passing abilities, but when he is off the court, Golden State’s assist percentage and assist-to-turnover ratios actually increase.

Now, that could possibly be attributed to the small, three-guard lineups the Dubs utilize with Jarrett Jack, Klay Thompson and Curry. Lee is also a pretty close to an even assist-to-turnover ratio anyways, so the fact that he makes nice passes every once in a while may mask some perceptions that he does not take great care of the ball.

Moreover, the team overall actually functions better as a unit with him off the floor, increasing in assist percentage, offensive rebounding percentage and turnover ratio. But their offensive rating per 100 possessions is also going to decline by about four points. His value as a scorer is definitely felt more when he is on the court.

Overall, Lee’s offense is where he gets the notoriety for being well-rounded. Though it is somewhat questionable to whether the team functions better as a unit with him off the floor. The statistics may be skewed a bit because the unit that is usually in the game when Lee is off the floor has more ball handlers. Regardless, Lee needs to take better care of the ball and finish more mid-range attempts before he can get an “A” in the offensive category.

Grade: B+

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