While it may not be the time to say it but the Warriors 5-0 is utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I mean if you had looked at our schedule there was maybe only 1 or 2 teams that we might not actually beat. Look at the Hornets. They didn't have Davis or Rivers so it's hard to look back and say we did well to beat all these teams because quite frankly we had more then a fair share of breaks in our favour. Okay i know i'm raining on the parade right now but these are the facts that we have to remember when talking about this 5-0 run.
But can we deny that this team played out of it's skin? No? Can we say they were the most dogged and determined team in Vegas? Yes. We watch the Summer League to see all of our new draft picks and new players. The fact that these players ended up running over every team they faced and ended up undefeated at the Summer League is just a bonus. But when it all comes down to it we are gong to be concentrating on how Barnes,Green and Ezeli all played along with some of our other younger fringe players. So without further ado let us delve into how the Warriors were so successful and what we can look forward to from these guys going forward in the NBA.
While he was productive and lead the Warriors in scoring over all 5 games Barnes has left me with some doubts and concern's about his game going forward after his performances over all 5 games. First off the positives. He can fill it up. He's a more then competent perimeter shooter, he can pull-up and knock down jumper's all day and he has shown the ability to be able to get into the lane and get a shot off. His defense is actually not that bad. He came up with a 1.8 steal average so must be doing something right. But that is unfortunately where the positives end and the doubts and little problems start to creep in. His had a very poor shooting percentage over the course of the summer league. He didn't even shoot 40% from the field. He can drift in and out at times instead of taking control of the game and putting his mark on it. Not that he can do much since his ball handling skills are sub-par. He needs to start attacking the basket more. I mean he's very dangerous when he get's into the lane it's just he shows a lack of willingness to get into the lane and take contact and get to the line. He seems to suffer from ''Andre Drummond Syndrome'' at times because he has the talent to dominate but he just seems happy to be a spectator instead of a participant. The only time I saw him really assert his will on the game was the 4th quarter against NOH when he had 3 buckets in the space of a few possession's to help the Warriors pull away.
As for his Pro prospects i'm not sure if you start him just yet. I mean he has quite a few issues that need working out and i'd be one to air on the side of caution considering that you don't want to crush his confidence by throwing him in the deep end and watching him fail. So for now I'd strongly suggest starting him on the bench like Klay was in his first year. There's talent and potential there for sure but we've got to bring it on slowly.
Yeah i'm pretty much ready to declare that we have found another Udoh with perhaps more offensive upside. It's pretty basic really when it comes to Festus. He's a big man that can block and rebound. What more needs to be said? He showed good energy throughout which led to hauling down boards and a 2.0 BPG average. The only thing I will say is his volume of rebounds was quite low which isn't exactly the most encouraging thing about him but where he really struggles is in his post moves. I mean he did improved as the games went on but you still have quite a bit of apprehension whenever he catches it in the post with his back to the basket. I don't know what it is but he just doesn't demonstrate any particular technique to out play his counter-part whoever that may be. We know there is offensive production somewhere in his game due to his 13.1 PPG he put up in his final year at Vanderbilt but it might take 2 or 3 seasons before we see glimpses of that.
Ezeli's pro prospects are good considering who he has for competition on the depth chart and his skill set. He's the big body that the Warriors crave so dearly that will clog the lane and provide post defense. I think he'll make a decent back-up to Bogut and hopefully if he develop's he'll become a big contributor for the Warriors down the road.
Quite a few people this week came into the Summer League asking what Draymond Green can actually contribute at the pro level. The answer? A bit of everything. He's tough for sure but his greatest strength which is what makes him so useful to the Warriors is that there is not one thing on the floor that he's shown he can't do. He can shoot the 3, he can be used in the post as a weapon to back down smaller players guarding him. He can rebound rather well and he finds a way to make plays on the defensive end. It's his energy and intangibles that made him such a important member of the Warriors squad. He came off the bench and added so much to the team when it looked either down-trodden or out of it. I think the best way to describe's Green would be a glue guy. He's a big part of the team no matter what he does. For instance look at his 0-9 shooting performance. Even when he couldn't his the broadside of a barn he pulled down 6 boards, had 2 assists and also added a block and a steal. It's what he does best. He finds a way to influence the game.
As for Green in the pro's.....I'm not sold on him but after watching him play this week is it so crazy to think of him as a Dominic McGuire replacement? I mean he can do a little bit of everything and add's energy whenever he get's on the floor but his biggest weakness is his size and he is undersized for his style of play. But considering his physical nature would it be out of the question that he begins to show offensive promise at the SF position by taking on the other SF's in the post? Something to consider.
It's always interesting to watch these second year players to see how they are developing and how much have they added to their game during the off-season. First we have Klay Thompson who while he only played 2 games due to his excursion to play with the U.S Select team made his mark rather emphatically by shooting the lights out in the first game and at the start of the second. The thing with Klay is now how much he can add to his game now that he's established himself as a shooter/scorer. His defense seemed to be good also as he showed good on-ball defense and always made his man work for his shot which is always good to see. As for Jeremy Tyler it was a case of missed opportunities. While he showed promise during his final summer league game he was sloppy, careless and tried to do to much at time which led to turnovers on more then one occasion. I've said it before that if there was any time for Tyler to step up and claim his place on the team it was here and he didn't help his case any further with a slew of poor turnover ridden performances in his first 4 games. But the best of the sophmores was without a doubt Charles Jenkins. His game against Denver was most likely the only reason we won that game. He was not the floor general that the Warriors may have needed but he was the safety net that the Warriors could fall back on if Barnes was having an off night or they were being shut out. Jenkins was aggressive when he needed to be and attacked the basket with vigor and when needs be he pulled out his trademark pull up in the lane and drain the mid range jumper that has now become his signature. Jenkins while he may not have piled up assists he made a bucket load of important shots when he needed to and I gotta say he was the best player that the Warriors had on their team for their entire summer league campaign.
It's kinda hard not to mention the play of Bazemore and Burell when discussing the Warriors 5-0 run because the play of both was so influential towards the success of the team. Bazemore's 7 block game against Chicago was easily one of the most memorable moments from the campaign. Bazemore and Burell were the high energy do-it-all players that went out of their way to contribute to the Warriors in whatever way they could. Burell banged the glass and protected the rim on defense while Bazemore hustled down every player that he was tasked to mark and made it close to impossible for them to play. Do I think the Warriors should pick these two guys up? No not right now with our roster but Bazemore at the very least should be picked up by some team because he's just too talented not to make a team or at least a training camp.
On the whole:
A rather good campaign for the Warriors. After watching the Rookies and Sophmores play it's easy to tell that we have drafted some rather talented players and will hopefully be able to add to this squad. While they are not the finished article yet the ground work has been laid and if these guys are developed in the right way then the Warriors could have a talented bunch to work with for the next few years.
(Hoped you enjoyed the article. It wasn't always fun watching GSW play this Summer League but it was never boring. Final Games of the Summer League finish up tonight and i'll have the final Summer League diary up on Monday with a recap of the whole 2 weeks.)