On Warriors, Jefferson's playoff experience stands out

September 4, 2012, 8:16 pm
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When it comes to which Warriors player will be getting theminutes at small forward this season, few seem to be giving Richard Jeffersonmuch of a shot.Conventional wisdom is that rookie Harrison Barnes andBrandon Rush, whom the team re-signed in August, will be holding down thatspot. And if not them, then Draymond Green, the Warriors second-roundselection, could be in the mix for some playing time.RELATED: Warriors focus -- Harrison Barnes
But dont overlook Jefferson. Hes got something going forhim that nobody on the Warriors roster can touch: Extensive playoffexperience. And that experience will likely keep him in the forefront of coachMark Jacksons mind when it comes to playing time this season particularlylate in close games.Think about this: Jefferson has 94 career playoff gamesunder his belt, and its not as if hes all the way over the hill at just 32years old. The rest of the Warriors roster combined has played in just 52postseason games. And nine Golden State Warriors have never played a game inthe playoffs including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and ofcourse, Barnes.Andrew Bogut and Brandon Rush have played in five playoffgames apiece.Warriors owner Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers andJackson all have made it clear they believe the team will be competing for aplayoff spot in 2012-13.If thats the case, its hard to not see Jefferson being apart of it. The Warriors schedule early in the season is difficult, with moreroad games than home games and more games against playoff teams thannot.It seems likely that Jackson, who will be under pressure toguide the Warriors into the postseason, would lean on a sure thing (Jefferson)more than an unknown (Barnes).Of course, Barnes is going to get minutes in his rookieseason, no doubt about that. But some of that playing time will be dictated byJefferson, the player on the Warriors roster with more postseason experience and its not even close than anyone else on the team.

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