Grading Key Golden State Warriors Players In Game 2 Win Against Spurs

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Small Forward: Harrison Barnes

Apr 26, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) pumps his fist after the Warriors made a basket against the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter during game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Nuggets 110-108. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison Barnes once again proved to be the ‘X-Factor’, posting a solid line of 13-3-3. He also hit a big shots on the inside-out rotation passes.

Much of the second half, Gregg Popovich elected (questionably) to have Parker defend Barnes, and the Warriors allowed him to work low-block and elbow-extended post ups against the obvious mismatch.

From shot-clock beating jumpers to corner fadeaways, this is the Barnes that Mark Jackson has been searching for all season. A guy with endless talent who sometimes goes quiet for extended time, is now showing a consistent attacking mindset that fits him into this perfect niche. His ability to guard a bigger guy is letting the Warriors play small and use Barnes as a stretch four, forcing the Spurs big guys to move outside the paint, either creating lanes for the guards to slash, or forcing the defense to rotate and getting Barnes an easy spot up 3.

Barnes’ defense and assertiveness continue to be valuable against the Spurs, who do have one guy that can matchup with him (Leonard), but are forced to use his defensive prowess against the Warriors elite backcourt.

Grade: B-