Dec 11, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Utah Jazz shooting guard Brandon Rush (25) returns for a timeout after scoring a three point basket against the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What Can The Warriors Expect From Brandon Rush?

The Warriors announced their second free agent signing of the offseason after forward Brandon Rush agreed to the terms of a two-year, $2.5 million deal.

For Warriors faithful, the return of Brandon Rush was met with boundless enthusiasm.

Prime, then Decline

Fans remember his 2011-2012 season, when he served as a reliable contributor off the bench and a consistent 3-and-D player. Statistically, Rush was remarkably effective as a shooter, stroking it at a rate of 50.1% from the field and a lights-out 45.2% from the three-point arc. To put that into perspective, 45.2% would be a career high for Stephen Curry, who has been deemed as one of the most prolific shooters in league history. While the season may have been a slight anomaly, Rush is a career 40.9% shooter from beyond the arc, an impressive figure by any standards.

Rush’s career spiralled downwards after he tore the ACL in his left knee just two games in to the 2012-2013 season, causing him to miss the entire season. His presence was missed sorely, especially in the postseason, where the Warriors simply lacked the depth down the stretch to outlast the San Antonio Spurs. Ultimately, after the season ended, Rush was packaged in a deal to acquire Andre Iguodala and sent to the Utah Jazz.

Since then, Rush just hasn’t been the same player. He played only 38 games for the Jazz last season, failing to score in double-figures in every single one of his appearances. He was uncharacteristically inefficient from the three-point line, and couldn’t sink in to any kind of offensive groove.

Familiar System

While last season may have indicated that Rush’s career in decline, a shift of scenery may be exactly what it takes to revive him. After taking an entire season off for the Warriors and resting on the bench much of last season for the Jazz, Rush has completely recovered and is back in peak physical condition. In fact, the reason he generated interest amongst a handful of teams in the past few days as a potential free-agent acquisition was because of how impressive he looked in his workouts in Las Vegas.

But, he admitted in an interview last season that his struggles last year were more mental than physical. He wasn’t comfortable in the system he was a part of  – which isn’t all that surprising considering the atrocious season the Utah Jazz had, as they finished last in the insanely competitive Western Conference.

Rush is familiar with the play of several of the Warriors’ core players, and built chemistry with them while he was a part of the squad. A brand new coaching staff will naturally introduce brand new offensive schemes, but Rush’s familiarity with several players on the roster should help him get acclimated quickly. Being part of a stable organization that is committed to team success should also help boost his confidence, and facilitate his transition process.

It may be unrealistic to expect Rush to immediately be the hot-shooting spark off the bench that he used to be, but allow him some time to readjust and 2014 might just be the comeback year he was hoping for.


Tags: Brandon Rush Golden State Warriors

  • wil

    Wow, I couldn’t be any more happier than acquiring Brandon Rush, I was hoping we would snag him from the 90 percent of the NBA that saw his workouts in Las Vegas. I hope the fans appreciate B Rush for choosing us at such a very low price and I hope we extend (and sweeten the pot) his contract to compensate for all his heartache of injuries caused under our watch…..

  • Chris Broussard

    Multiple sources say good job

  • truebyufan

    It is kinda odd to see Brandon Rush get so much enthusiasm from Warriors’ fans, considering that he looked nothing like himself last year. As a Jazz fan with season tickets, it was difficult to watch him struggle on the court due to his knee. He looked slow, had no lift, and was frequently out of place on defense due to the fact that he could not keep up with any player that was making a hard cut. Considering that the Jazz were so young, as they are in rebuilding mode, I truly had hope that Brandon Rush would have the kind of season that Richard Jefferson had. RJ, whom many people had thought should have retired 3 years prior, came out and made the most of the opportunity that was gifted to him through the trade to the Jazz. He understood, that he was coming in as a veteran player, to help show the young lottery players how to be a pro. He also understood that the entire season, was an audition for the entire NBA, considering that he was not part of the Jazz plans after that season. Rush, whom I really was excited to get, was thought to have been a future player for the jazz. While he may have been claiming that it was a system issue, I highly doubt it, after watching every game that he played in. Truth be told, his knee was nowhere close to being ready to come back when he did, and he could not keep up with the younger Jazz players. Ty Corbin was a horrible coach, but he was running the same Jazz system that Jerry Sloan ran, with a few tweaks. It is not a system that is difficult to understand, but is very effective when ran correctly by all 5 players. I hope that Rush is able to regain his career, but his knee will never be the same.