Warriors midseason -- player grades

February 24, 2012, 1:44 am
Share This Post

The season isnt quite halfway over, but since its the All-Star break, what better time to take stock of the Warriors.Golden State entered the break with a 13-17 record, and has a tough slog if it hopes to make good on owner Joe Lacob and coach Mark Jacksons playoff promises.Lets take a look at the Warriors roster and grade out each of the players:Stephen Curry: His numbers are fine, and, in fact, his shooting percentage, 3-point shooting percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio are all up slightly from a year ago. However, anyone who has watched Curry play this year realizes he hasnt made the impact he has in past seasons. Hes missed almost a third of the season, and when he has been playing he hasnt been the kind of difference-maker the Warriors need him to be.
Grade: C-plus.Monta Ellis: Hes having a Monta Ellis-type year, which is good and not so good. The good is hes the team leader in scoring and continues to be the teams most important player.
Whats not so good is Ellis scoring is down a touch and his shooting percentage from the field and 3-point range are down from a season ago. Is Monta Ellis playing better than last year or the year before? From this view, the answer is no.
Grade B-minus.Dorell Wright: Wright had a breakout season a year ago, but hes failed to build on it. Hes gone from averaging 16 points per game last year to 10 points per game this year, and his effect on games has lessened.
Grade: C-minus.David Lee: Hes having a good year numbers-wise, and truth be told, hes made more of an impact this season than last season his first with the Warriors. Lee has done a nice job of scoring both facing up and posting up and his rebounding remains solid.
Hell never be the player many want him to be, and he still hasnt shown he can be a factor down the stretch of games, but all things considered Lee has been a positive.
Grade: B.Andris Biedrins: Conventional wisdom was that Biedrins was a shoe-in to bounce back at least a little bit from a miserable 2010-11, a year in which he averaged five points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
And yet the opposite has happened. Biedrins has actually become less effective this season, playing less, scoring less and rebounding less. Despite coach Mark Jacksons consistent praising and pumping up of Biedrins, everyone watching the games can see how far Biedrins has fallen off.
Grade: D-minus.Kwame Brown: Hes likely done for the season because of a pectoral injury, but while he played there is no doubt he helped. He gave the Warriors a big body inside who could defend, rebound and give another six fouls.
Grade: B-plus.Ekpe Udoh: In the past few weeks, Udohs play has improved, but the reality is that Udoh was never playing as poorly as Jackson sometimes intimated. At his best Udoh is a terrific low-post defender and shot-blocker and a half-decent post-up guy and face-up jumper guy.
But even when hes not at his best Udoh gives the team a consistent defensive presence a rarity on the Warriors.
Grade: B.Nate Robinson: All or nothing; hit or miss; feast or famine. Pick your favorite. The bottom line with Robinson is that while hes helped change the direction of a few games, for the most part hes been so-so. Hes barely shooting 40 percent from the field, and while hes hit some big shots for the Warriors, hes forced his share and missed his share.
Grade: C.Brandon Rush: Give Warriors general manager Larry Riley credit for acquiring Rush for Lou Amundson. Solid trade in any league. Rush leads the league in 3-point shooting and competes on the defensive end. Hes been a key to many Warriors wins this season.
Grade: B-plus.Klay Thompson: He struggled early, came around after that and now has struggled of late (1-for-10 from 3-point range past five games). But hes shown he is a bona-find NBA player, though whether he is an NBA starter remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure: Thompson can shoot the ball.
Grade: B.Dominic McGuire: McGuire has emerged as a defensive specialist for Jackson. McGuires offensive game is not exactly a thing of beauty but thats not why the Warriors acquired him. They acquired him to give them another versatile wing defender and McGuire has certainly been that.
Grade: A-minus.Jeremy Tyler: Nobody expected a whole lot from Tyler this season and thats exactly what theyre getting. Hes not quite a project, but hes not going to become a factor overnight.
Tyler has never had to work as hard as he has this year in the NBA, and its been an adjustment for him.
Grade: C-plus.Charles Jenkins: While Stephen Curry was out with an injury, Jenkins stepped in and did a nice job for the Warriors. He showed an ability to knock down open shots and hes already learned how to become a professional player in terms of dedication and work ethic.
Grade: B-minus.Chris Wright: The Warriors liked Wright enough to keep him around, but apparently not so much that hes going to get any meaningful minutes at the NBA level. He played a few games for Dakota and did well there. Next step is to find some kind of niche with the Warriors. Still, that Wright is still on the team is an upset in and of itself.
Grade: B.