Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trailblazers: Who Has The Edge?

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January 15, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trailblazers guard Nicolas Batum (88) brings the ball up the court as Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala (9) defends during the second half at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 115-111 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Small Forward

Warriors: Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes

Trailblazers: Nicolas Batum, Dorell Wright, Victor Claver

This comparison is full of interesting matchups.  Andre Iguodala and Nicolas Batum are also quite similar players.  Iguodala is the bigger name, but Batum put up very similar numbers last season.

Iguodala averaged 13 points, 5.4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game last season.  Batum averaged 14.3 points, 4.9 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Iguodala has been posting lower scoring averages as of late, but his assist and rebound numbers have been steady throughout his career.  Batum, a younger player, has been improving his scoring and rebounding each season and made a huge jump in assists last year.

Although Batum’s stats look impressive next to Iguodala’s, Andre’s versatility cannot be forgotten.  Iguodala is able conform to the needs of the team.  When he was in Philadelphia, Iguodala was able to be a scorer without it hurting his shooting percentage.

His scoring has decreased lately because it isn’t needed.  It shouldn’t be needed for Golden State, either.  Iguodala’s defense, however, will be needed.  Although he is one of the best wing defenders in the game, it doesn’t always show up on the stat sheets.

Dorell Wright had his best season as a member of the Warriors.  Still, he is a streaky shooter and an above average athlete.  Wright has already hit his peak and it isn’t that high.  Harrison Barnes was also streaky last season, but he was a rookie and he showed plenty of potential.

Barnes is fearless and he can now practice under the tutelage of Iguodala.  Look for him to make big strides this season.

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