Listing the 5 Most Important Players On the Golden State Warriors

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Stephen Curry

Mar 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) brings the ball up the court during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This one seems obvious. Stephen Curry ended the 2013 season as the all-time single season leader in three-point field goals, as the poster boy of a growing franchise and as one of the most likeable players for Warriors and non-Warriors fans alike. In fact, Curry is responsible for putting the Warriors into that “my favorite team when my favorite team isn’t playing” position for a lot of fans who didn’t watch Warriors basketball before this year.

Curry would be a shoo-in for the All-Star game if there was another guard position and his high All-Star status, as well as his phenomenal postseason performance, means the eyes are on him. This increased scrutiny is one of the major reasons why he is the most important player, though the Andre Iguodala trade certainly has taken some load off.

Curry has shown incredible promise as a point guard, and even though he has some weaknesses, namely defense and passing IQ, he is still the best player on the Warriors and must continue to define himself in that leadership role.

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Topics: Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Golden State Warriors, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, NBA Free Agency, Stephen Curry

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  • methuselah46

    This article is so stupid that it should be on Bleacher Report! Name the 5 most important players and leave off the team’s only all-star. With the Addition of Iguadala, there is no question that, should push come to shove, one of either Thompson or Barnes is expendable.

    Wow, talk about lazy journalism. Did you write the same article about every NBA team & just pick 5 out of the starting line-up + 6th man?

    • Alec Safreno

      Are you kidding me? David Lee is the most expendable part of the starting line up. He’s a model for consistency but he’s not a difference maker. Games don’t rise and fall because he’s having an off game. If the playoffs showed us something is that Lee isn’t a burden to the team rather than an integral part of the core.

      I been saying Lee isn’t a core member of the Warrior team. He’s a defensive liability and when he’s in the game the Warriors run too many possessions through him in the post or pick and pop rather than having Curry handle the scoring himself. Lee makes Curry lazy, hooking a wild pass over his head to hit David Lee for the 18 footer. He knocks it down at the same percentage that Steph can shoot a 3 and at far less than HB or Iggy can finish at the rim.

      I honestly hope that the front office can trade Lee sometime before his contract ends and get a more suited piece for this team to contend for the championship. I like the Speights, its the right direction. The Warriors need a defensive shut down power forward, rather than a skilled one.

      • methuselah46

        I think that either Barnes or Thompson should be left off the list in favor of Lee.

        Given the W’s salary cap structure, there’s nobody close to as good as Lee that they could afford. Lee isn’t the greatest defender, but if his minutes are reduced a bit to his career avg. of 32.4 instead of the 36.8 he played last season, he might have more energy to expend on D.

        That said, the question was who is most important, not who are the best players. Who takes Lee’s place in the starting lineup if he goes down with injury? Speights is OK but not a full replacement for Lee. On the other hand, if either ,Thompson, or Iguadala went down, Barnes would step right in to pick up the slack.

        To raise one other issue, Thompson isn’t showing very much yoy growth. Barnes showed more growth in 1 season than Thompson has in 2. If Klay doesn’t pick up the pace, I would trade him for value before the rest of the league catches on to his apparently limited up-side. Iguadala and Barnes as the starting wings is just fine with me.

        • Dhara Taheripour

          I’m glad that my article has sparked this discussion. That being said, I feel like Alec is on the side of truth on this one.

          First of all, Barnes stepped up to fill Lee’s place in smaller lineups when we had Jack on the ball and Steph off it so your point about Barnes coming in for Iguodala and Thompson and not Lee is fairly moot.

          Second of all, Lee is expendable and frankly not a top 5 important guy in terms of storylines for next season, He doesn’t need to do anything different. He will likely not be an All-Star again if Kevin Love is healthy and he can pretty much keep doing what he is doing in terms of getting double-doubles and being a revolving door on defense.

          Could you honestly say the expectation to perform for Steph, Dre (forgot that he doesn’t like Iggy), Bogut, Barnes and Klay is less than the expectation for DLee? There is a lot more riding on those fives shoulders than DLee and that’s why I left him off the list. The article is about the most important players in terms of their performance. As the playoffs proved, Lee just isn’t that important (and if you want to argue that the Warriors would have beaten the Spurs with him, read this http://bluemanhoop.com/2013/05/21/golden-state-warriors-would-they-still-be-playing-if-david-lee-was-healthy/ and that should answer any of those silly arguments)

          Thanks for reading!

          • methuselah46

            Lee gets a bad rap because he is neither highly athletic nor mean & nasty. He just goes out and does the job night after night. Beyond that his influence as a team leader is also underrated.

            In a way, you made my point for me: Barnes can only sub for Lee in SMALL lineups. That kind of lineup is only useful in specific situations. Despite his defensive limitations, Lee’s rebounding and, more important, his passing skills are hard to replace at the 4. As the Warriors have proven again and again over the years, there are plenty of 2/3 swing men available in the D-League who can do the job well enough on the 2nd team. Finding a 4 who can produce 18/10 with 3 or 4 assists night after night is damned near impossible.

          • Dhara Taheripour

            I’d like to know where you are getting your stats in regard to Speights not being able to step up to cover for Lee.

            If we look at advanced stats, Lee had a Total Rebound Percentage of 16.8 for this season and Speights had one of 15.8. That means that of all the available rebounds on the floor when those players are playing, Lee grabbed 16.8 percent of them and Speights grabbed 15.8. Percentages are a better indicator of rebounding ability because they take into account that some teams are faster paced and shoot the ball more and that some players may have more opportunities to rebound. So thus far, Lee is 1 percent better at rebounding than Speights.

            I would argue that Speights ability to stretch the floor and better defense would make up for that fact. Speights shot 48.4 percent on 184 attempts in the zone greater than 16 feet but within the three-point arc. Lee shot 41.8 on 244 attempts in the very same zone. Speights commands more respect when he plays farther from the basket and thus stretches the floor.

            Last but not least, defense. Per 82games.com, opposing power forwards produced at a PER of 16.7 per 48 minutes against Lee. Against Speights, they had a PER 8.3.

            I like David Lee, don’t get me wrong. I agree that he is a great leader and motivator but when you have one of the best motivational coaches already in Mark Jackson, you don’t really need him. The stats don’t lie, Speights will be more than able to shoulder David Lee’s load in the coming season.

          • Alec Safreno

            That’s not what this team with Steph, Klay, Iggy, and Barnes is built to do. The Warriors now don’t need a power forward player to score or be a primary option. They have all the scoring fire power in the back court, and the wings and guards should be responsible for the bulk of the scoring.

            What they need at the power forward spot is a tough rebounding defender. More athletic than skilled, whose only real scoring responsibilities are easy baskets and put backs. Other than that, just have a player that can shut down and muscle other big man.

            Lee makes the Warriors with another have another mouth to feed and when were talking about developing young players, having an extra mouth can be a hindrance. Lee’s defensive woes alone make him expendable for this new look Warriors.

            As far as Klay development from one year to the next, I think you completely missed out. His growth from rookie to sophomore year has been outstanding. Like most, and I too get caught up in it, people only look at Klay’s offense, which while has shown mild improvements, is still very much a work in progress. He hasn’t quite accepted the role as the second shooter behind Curry, electing to jack up errant 3′s that waste a possession. While a little concerning, with more time in the league and with Steph, his offense decision making should greatly improve. I’ll give him one more year before drawing the final conclusion on his offense, but I’m confident that we’ll get to see other dimensions of his offense more consistently this upcoming season.

            Confidence with reason, what Klay did work on and damn did it show, was his defense. He’s said, that last off season, all he did was defensive drills. Anything and everything he could to better adapt to what Mark Jackson demanded from him. His growth on defense was far bigger than Barnes coming out party during the finals. Last season, you could see him working on that dribble drive game. Getting to the basket, for a lay up or a foul. And while he struggled to finish or draw the foul, the effort was there. If last seasons growth is any indication to how much work that guy puts into improving, I’m confident the Klay coming into the league this year will be even better than before.

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