Santa Cruz Warriors: Introducing the ‘Surf City Summary’ weekly column

Santa Cruz Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Santa Cruz Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Santa Cruz Warriors
Santa Cruz Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew Wheeler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Niang is the Draymond of Santa Cruz

Georges Niang has really found a fit with the Santa Cruz Warriors. His skillset is absolutely perfect in the Warriors system, acting as a small ball big man capable of spacing the floor with his long range shooting prowess and impressive passing ability.

Though I wouldn’t necessarily consider him a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, his versatility certainly reminds me of Golden State’s jack-of-all-trades, Draymond Green. Like Green, Niang is Surf City’s Swiss army knife, utilizing a many number of tools to fit a number of different strategies.

This season, Niang is averaging 18.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.3 steals in 33 minutes per game. He’s shooting 56.3 percent from the field, 47.1 percent from behind the arc and 88.5 percent from the free throw line.

Among his teammates, Niang ranks second in points, third in rebounds, third in assists, fifth in steals and third in both field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. It’s not difficult to draw comparisons to Draymond.

Niang is also a willing defender. When he’s on the court, opponents have been limited to 42.7 percent shooting from the field and only 34.7 percent shooting from long range. When he’s off the court, opponents have shot 44.4 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from long range.

I highly doubt Niang will make it through the season with Santa Cruz; he’ll be called up soon enough, just as Antonius Cleveland was with the Dallas Mavericks.