LAS VEGAS -- The Warriors had just completed their evening practice onWednesday night, and reporters started to make their way toward assistant coachPete Myers.But before any questions could be asked of Myers, he had onefor the writers: Howd he look tonight?Pretty good, came a response.The player in question was Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes,who had just gotten done with his most impressive showing as a pro. Sure, itwas only a practice that involved short segments of scrimmaging, but it was thefirst real glimpse of what Barnes may be capable of.Barnes knocked down perimeter shots, got to the rim onoccasion and rebounded well from the small forward spot.Hes good, hes good, said Myers, who is serving as theWarriors summer league head coach. He kind of picks his spots. But I think wecan get him to step up offensively. Hes got ability, no question aboutthat.Truth be told, the Warriors havent been concerned aboutBarnes offensive game. That will take care of itself, the Warriors seem tobelieve.Its on the defensive end where the Warriors want Barnes tofocus, at least for now.Were trying to get him on the right track defensively,Myers said. He can do some things there. I dont know if you saw him take thatcharge (on the perimeter, defending Draymond Green). To me, thats huge getting a young kid taking that step, cutting off a players dribble and taking (the charge). Thats big.Barnes acknowledged that the adjustment on the defensive endfrom college to the pros is significant. Barnes said that with all the newconcepts, schemes and terminology hes learning, hes probably doing morethinking than playing at this point.You have to have a high basketball IQ to play at thislevel, Barnes said. So much goes into each possession defensively,offensively, spacing, timing. You have to be locked in and have good mentaltoughness.Myers said the adjustments Barnes has to make are the normfor first-year players, but hes been encouraged by how quickly Barnes picksthings up.A lot of nights (at North Carolina) he was probably thebest athlete on the floor, Myers said. And he played with a lot of athletesso he could get away with some stuff. Now hes matched up with guys who areequally athletic.Said Barnes: There are a lot of things that are different.For example, the corner 3-point shot. I didnt think about that in college. Wejust treated it like a normal play or shot. But in the NBA thats a veryhigh-percentage shot. There are different coverages on pick and rolls,different post defenses. Its been an adjustment, definitely, at the defensiveend.
What Warriors want from Barnes
July 12, 2012, 11:07 pm