Mailbag: Comparing 2012 Warriors with Webber's Kings

Mailbag: Comparing 2012 Warriors with Webber's Kings
August 31, 2012, 5:07 pm
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Mailtime Now that the Warriors are built more like a traditional team, will they be as exciting to watch? Nellie-ball was good times even if losing. Patrick, Bay Area.Steinmetz: When I think of the most exciting NBA teams of the past decade or so, the team I think about is the Sacramento Kings of the early 2000s.No team passed the ball better. No team moved without the ball more. And no team shared it like the Kings. They were a well-oiled machine of movement, and they were brutal to defend.It was mostly because Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, the Kings starting power forward and center, respectively, were absolutely terrific passers, and that allowed Sacramento to play a different kind of way that was both successful and entertaining.The Kings also had Mike Bibby, Doug Christie and Peja Stojakovic, and each of those players were threats from the perimeter. In Stojakovics case, he was one of the elite shooters in the game at that time.The general point, and its tough to get around it, is that the Warriors kind of resemble that Kings team a little bit. Of course its not a perfect comparison but its there.Look, of course the Warriors arent as talented as those Kings teams. Not saying that. Not even close. The Kings knocked on the Finals door for a few years, and Webber was a legitimate MVP candidate. The Warriors dont have anyone as impactful as Webber, and, further, most of their core has never played in the postseason.When I think of those Kings teams, I think of zip-zip-zip because thats how fast the ball seemed to go when they were on offense and it always seemed to end up in the hands of a wide-open player.While David Lee and Andrew Bogut arent Webber-Divac, its still a darn good passing frontcourt. And last I checked, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush could put the ball in the basket from the outside. Maybe Harrison Barnes, too.In Currys case, were talking about one of the best shooters in the league.Lee and Bogut have the ability to see the floor better than most big men and they also are pretty good at thinking ahead. Parlay that with smaller players who excel at shooting the ball, and you could see how the Warriors would be able to play an interesting style.Theres no reason the Warriors couldnt turn into a team that is active, precise and difficult to defend. It seems only logical that the Warriors will try to space the floor some and employ a lot of cutting, movement and screening.If they do it well, they could be fun to watch. They wont be as exciting as those Kings teams, because those Kings teams were unique and among the best in the NBA. But theyre not a bad example of the kind of team the Warriors might try to emulate.What kind of year do you see Draymond Green having? Brett, San Anselmo, Calif.Steinmetz: Thats kind of a tricky one to answer, actually. On the one hand, I could see Green barely playing and perhaps being a D-League candidate. After all, the Warriors have a lot of players who are supposed to be ahead of him David Lee and Carl Landry at power forward and Harrison Barnes, Brandon Rush (particularly because he made it clear he wants to start) and maybe even Richard Jefferson at small forward.So, you have to ask yourself: Hows he going to get minutes?Then again, you see a player that the Warriors invested two-plus years of money into already and were talking about a second-round pick. It seems clear they like him.Plus, if theres one thing you hear about Green its that he knows how to play, is smart, can pass, has a good feel, etc. The Warriors can use as many of those kinds of players as they can get.What Im getting at is that perhaps Green can find a niche for himself, even in his first season. I dont see that as outside the realm of possibility.Assuming health, how do you see the minutes breaking down this season, including starters and guys coming off the bench? Scott, Novato, Calif. --Steinmetz: Thats a good question, one I could probably devote more words to. And I probably will as the season gets closer. OK, heres a minutes prediction, keeping in mind that I would be very, very conservative as it pertains to Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry. In other words, when it comes to minutes per game, Im playing it very cautiously. So, here goes:
Curry: 32 mpg.
Klay Thompson: 26 mpg.
Harrison Barnes: 20 mpg.
David Lee: 34 mpg.
Bogut: 28 mpg.
Jarrett Jack: 28 mpg.
Carl Landry: 24 mpg.
Brandon Rush: 18 mpg.
Andris BiedrinsFestus Ezeli: 15 mpg.
Richard JeffersonDraymond GreenCharles Jenkins: 15 mpg.