We're just over the halfway point of the season, so let's take a look back and hand out some GSoM grades to each of the players, Nellie, and Mulliggins. These grades are for the first 44 games of the season and not a reflection of what we expect from these guys over the rest of the season. Let's grade these guys strictly on their performance the first half of the season, from A+ to F-, with a car comparison thrown in.
Everybody wants one of these
Baron Davis (A-)
How many guys that play on a 20-23 team deserve to be in this category? I'd say just one, Baron Davis. He's not perfect, but he's far and away the best player on the team. There's no way this team would be anywhere near as good without BD running the show. He's playing at an All-Star level and doing whatever he can to get this team wins. If you compare his play from last year to this year, you'll see that he's much more trustworthy of his teammates. Last year he'd try to take charge of the game and play his 1 on 1 game, but this year he's putting his trust in his teammates and it's paying off. It's allowed the offense to become more free flowing and not bog down as much. There's not a whole lot else Baron can do right now except shoot a higher FG% and to learn how to close out games. He's been the catalyst, the heart and soul, and the leader of this team.
The classics never go out of style
The Man came back for one last franchise revival. Seriously, if not for Nellie coming back this year, I don't know how long I could keep watching the Warriors. It was getting real hard to stay a Warrior fan. The team may not make the playoffs this year, but he's doing his best to make sure that doesn't happen. The whole culture and chemistry of the team has turned around 180 degrees (no not 360 like Jason Kidd will have you believe). He's got Baron playing like we all know he can. The team is exciting and the fans once again are hopeful. This year, the team will be playing for something other than ping pong balls in the final month of the season. He's giving the team a chance to succeed. He's not perfect, but he's certainly doing a whole lot with the team that he's been given. To me, the win-loss record is secondary to him coming in and showing the players, fans, and ownership what it's like to have fun playing and watching basketball again. He's not only revived the players, but renewed interest from the fans.
The Nellie Summer Mania:
- Monty Out, Nelson In
- One Million Reasons for Nellie to Take the Warriors to the Playoffs this Season
- A Picture Says a Thousand Words
- The Town Going Retro: Past, Present, and Future
- EXCLUSIVE: GSoM @ THE Press Conference
- Nellie vs. Nelly
- NBA.com is GSoMing and True Hooping!
- The Dirty Dozen: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
- Don Nelson Mania on the Web!: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV
You get the most bang for your buck with this guy.
Matt Barnes (B-)
This UCLA product has been an amazing surprise this season. He wasn't expected to contribute much, if anything, but he's been such a huge boon to this team. His scoring, fast break skills, and willingness to do the dirty work has earned him the respect of the Warrior faithful. He's struggled of late and was sent to Nellie's doghouse for a game, but I'm sure he'll respond and continue his breakout season.
We'll pick you up.
Kelenna Azubuike (C-)
Right now, he's just a rental going from contract to contract, but he's proving himself worthy of a roster spot. It's tough to grade him based on a handful of games, but I'll do it anyways. Dude is built like a beast. I don't think he's got any body fat on him. So while that doesn't make you a good player, I'm sure he had no trouble adjusting to a run and gun style of offense. I swear in that Clipper game in LA where the Warriors only had 7 guys and Kabuki was playing every single minute, he wasn't sweating in the 4th quarter. While everyone else was grabbing their shorts, he was ready to run lines. From what I've seen, he's got talent. He can score, is a decent defender, and just all out hustles. If the Warriors keep him past these 10 days contracts, I look forward to seeing what he can contribute in the 2nd half. Plus, he's got one of the best names in the league.
Adonal Foyle (F+)
"We want Foyle! We want Foyle!" I love those chants when the game is out of hand and the crowd wants to see Adonal get some burn. He doesn't look like an NBA player as he does that awkward run up and down the court. His hands of stone can either catch the ball, pass the ball, or shoot the ball, but never do they happen one after the other. If he catches it then tries to pass, it's a turnover. Sometimes he doesn't even catch it and God forbid he actually shoot the ball. But for some reason, the fans love and respect him. I know I do.
Patrick O'Bryant (F-)
He's struggling in the NBDL, `nuff said.
Come back soon man. We all miss your game and your heart. Let the injuries heal and get 100% healthy. This team will be so sick if you can get back to the JRich we all remember.
Ike Diogu (D)
We hardly knew ya Ike. There were flashes of crazy post skills, but you were on the bench too much this year to evaluate. Good luck in Indiana where a slower game just might suit your style.
Mike Dunleavy (D+)
Disappointment is an understatement. Mike was finally playing for a coach that knew how to use him. He was going to play point and point forward. He was going to handle the ball more, distribute, set people up, and get more involved on offense. This was going to be his breakout year. So what happened? Nothing. Nothing happened. You know why? He's still Mike Dunleavy and no coach can change that.
Keith McLeod (D-)
McLeod shot free throws really well and was an okay backup for when Baron needed a break. But honestly, McLeod just wasn't that good. He didn't make great decisions as a point guard, had trouble creating his own shot, and there was a reason Baron had to play 48 minutes some games. From the short time that I got to see him play, McLeod is more of a third string point guard or someone who gets 5 minutes a game.
Troy Murphy (D-)
Awww Troy. It's too bad you had to leave. It's good that your contract left, but you seemed like a good guy. The whole hair thing got out of control, but I feel bad that you didn't fit in Nellie's system. In the preseason, he talked about how, as the Warriors center, you were going to have your best season. The run and gun style would open up shots for you on the outside. But, Nellie's gameplan simply didn't fit your style or more that it didn't fit your athletic abilities. Good luck in Indiana, I'm sure you'll get back to your double-double ways.
Leave your grades and, if you want, a car comparison.
You can copy and paste these to make it easier:
Matt Barnes: B-
Andris Biedrins: B+
Baron Davis: A-
Ike Diogu: D
Mike Dunleavy: D-
Monta Ellis: B+
Adonal Foyle: F+
Keith McLeod: D-
Troy Murphy: D-
Don Nelson: A-
Patrick O'Bryant: F-
Mickael Pietrus: B
Jason Richardson: INC
2005-2006 Report Cards from the GSoM Vault:
- Troy Murphy (C+)
- Chris Mullin and Rod Higgins (D)
- Derek Fisher (B)
- Mickael Pietrus (C-)
- Zarko Cabarkapa (D)
- Monta Ellis (A)
- Calbert Cheaney (C+)
- Mike Montgomery (F+)
- Jason Richardson (A)
- Andris Biedrins (D-)
- Baron Davis (B-)
- Ike Diogu (B-)
- Chris Cohan & Robert Rowell (F)
- Adonal Foyle (D-)
- Mike Dunleavy (D)
- Warrior Girls, Thunder, Jr. Jam Squad, the Weekend Warriors, and The Band (A)