For Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee, his first postseason was about as nightmarish as it could get. Early into his first ever playoff game as an NBA player against the Denver Nuggets, Lee tore his hip flexor. Initial reports had Lee out for the entire postseason but he was miraculously able to give the Warriors minimal production while coming off the bench playing no more than 15 minutes per game post-injury.
Lee was coming off his best overall regular season as a Warrior. His statline was as follows:
Lee did not have a career high in any one category but nearly eclipsed his career high in rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, free throw percentage and turnovers.
Next season, Lee is hoping to come back strong and fully recovered from his hip flexor injury but expect his statline to be slightly different from this season.
55 percent shooting, 80 free throw percentage, and 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 0.3 blocks, 1.0 steal, 2.9 personal fouls, 2.3 turnovers, and 16.5 points per game in 32 minutes per contest.
Coming off the hip injury, expect Lee to play less minutes in the regular season especially in the first month. Additionally, the arrival of Andre Iguodala may cut into his minutes if Mark Jackson decides to give a larger share of minutes to the starter-turned-sixth-man this year than he did to Jarrett Jack.
Iguodala’s arrival will also take over more of the offensive burden. This will cause his points total to slightly decrease, but also result in his field goal percentage increasing. He will likely resort to shooting far more in the paint and far less spot-up jump shots. Last season, 11.7 percent of Lee’s offense game came from spot-up shots. Expect that number to drastically decrease and in turn expect his post-up possessions to increase as well as his offensive rebounding production.
Lee will be asked to do less offensively, causing the decrease in points and assists, but should be more active defensively resulting in the increase in steals. After years of being seen as an awful defensive liability, Lee will be positioned to play a step up. Next season, he will ideally be more productive on defensive post-ups. Opposing big men posted up on Lee 28.1 percent of the time last season and scored 44 percent of the time. For Lee to maintain minutes (even after stepping back in the offense) next season that number will have to decrease dramatically.