Much of the talk this offseason for the Golden State Warriors has centered around the question: How will they cope with the loss of Jarrett Jack?
When Nemanja Nedovic was drafted, the same question still existed. When Toney Douglas signed, you guessed it, the same question was still very much alive. Like when the Warriors traded Monta Ellis, not re-signing Jarrett Jack is addition by subtraction.
This article is not arguing that Jarrett Jack is not a solid player; he is just not a solid fit for this Warriors team.
Last year, Jack was the team’s best player at both driving to the basket and creating his own shot. Because of this, Mark Jackson relied on Jack for heavy minutes even though he came off the bench. However, this skill set came at a cost.
First, there was the defensive liability Jack created. Not a stout defender, he often was burned by opposing point guards, especially the top-tier point guards, many of which play in the West. This also forced Stephen Curry to try to match up with bigger shooting guards. If Bogut was not there protecting the basket (which was common), the Warriors really struggled defensively with a Jack and Curry backcourt.
Since Jack was the best at creating a shot, this was a lineup used often in the crunch time, late-game situations. This created a liability for the Warriors because it forced their offense to be potent and allowed a lot of leads to evaporate such as Game 1 against the San Antonio Spurs in the Playoffs.
There were times when Curry would go for seven minutes without a basket. Those times often seemed to correlate when he played alongside Jack, allowing him to conserve energy by being “off the ball.” It would be nice to allow Curry some time off of the point guard duties, so he can score more efficiently. Having a point guard who over-dribbles, shoots a ton and who does little to set up Curry in the offense is not an effective game plan.
Ideally, the Warriors would get a big, pass-first point guard, such as an Andre Miller or Jason Kidd-type, to back up Curry and depend on other bench spots for scoring. This would allow Curry to stay on the smaller guards and have a better role in the offense when he was playing the two. Douglas, while not tall, a great ball-handler or as skilled as Jack, should be a better fit, as he is a stingy defender who plays bigger than his size.
Jack was a solid bench player who brought a strong game and good attitude to the Warriors. Yet, his shortcomings were really exposed in the playoffs and highlighted his poor fitting with this current Warriors team.