I was having a discussion with a friend about the signings of Brandon Rush and Carl Landry, and we both seemed to agree that this was the best team the Warriors had put together in a long time. But then I thought, exactly how good is this team compared to our most recent successful team? The best team in the last decade was the 2007-08 Warriors that finished with a record of 48-34.
How would our current roster stack up against the '08 squad?
I put each of the starting 5 in a head to head match up, while also putting up the per game averages they had at the time(the avgs are for the 2011-12 season for the current roster) just to have some numbers to get a picture of what they were producing. I'm sure someone with a better grasp of statistics than I have on here can point out some more effective statistics to compare the teams.
THE STARTING LINEUPS
AVGS: 21.8 PPG 7.6 APG 4.7 RPG 2.33 SPG .426 FG% .330 3PT%
AVGS: 14.7 PPG 5.3 APG 3.4 RPG 1.5 SPG .490 FG% .455 3PT%
Who's got the edge?: Baron played at an elite level during the '08 campaign, it was a real shame he was not selected as an All-Star. He was the team's fearless leader, a great scorer, and could hit big shots. Davis also proved himself to be a great defensive player when engaged.
Steph is no slouch though. He may have missed a lot of time last season, but his first two seasons indicate he has the potential to be even better than Baron. He's already a better shooter than Davis would ever be, and his assist tally should be in the 7-8 range now that Monta Ellis is out of the picture.
It's hard to compare these two since their styles are so different. I can see scenarios where Steph surpasses Baron's talent and becomes an All-Star level PG, or he never lives up to expectations because of his wiry frame and glass ankles. I'd call this one a wash.
Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis vs. Klay Thompson
AVGS: 20.2 PPG 3.9 APG 5.0 RPG 1.53 SPG .531 FG% .231 3PT%
AVGS: 12.5 PPG 2.0 APG 2.4 RPG 0.74 SPG .443 FG% .414 3PT%
Who's got the edge?: Again, these are two different types of guards. Monta was small combo guard and a rim attacker who thrived on getting transition buckets and getting out in the open floor on fast breaks. Klay Thompson is a big, 6'7 guard whose strength is his ability to catch and shoot, especially off picks.
I'd give the edge to Monta here since '08 may have been the best season of his career efficiency wise, and its hard to expect Klay to match that.
Advantage: Monta Ellis
AVGS: 20.1 PPG 4.1 APG 4.4 RPG 1.26 SPG .405 FG% .363 3P%
AVGS(college): 17.1 PPG 1.1 APG 5.2 RPG 1.1 SPG .440 FG% .358 3PT%
Who's got the edge?: Jackson seems have the obvious edge here, barring a phenomenal rookie season from Harrison Barnes. Captain Jack was a great leader, tough defender, and cold blooded in the clutch during the '08 season. Barnes may have potential but there is still no telling what he will become, especially when the team he is on has so many offensive options.
Advantage: Stephen Jackson
AVGS: 13.6 PPG 5.4 RPG .20 BPG .434 FG% .375 3P%
AVGS: 20.1 PPG 2.8 APG 9.6 RPG .39 BPG .503 FG%
Who's got the edge?: This one goes to David Lee by a mile. He's a far superior scorer than Harrington at the 4 spot on the inside, he's a superior passer, and a much better rebounder. Al had the three ball, but other than that he's really not your ideal PF.
Advantage: David Lee
AVGS: 10.5 PPG 9.8 RPG 1.24 BPG .626 FG% .620 FT%
AVGS: 11.3 PPG 2.6 APG 8.3 RPG 1.0 SPG 2.0 BPG .449 FG%
Who's got the edge?: Today, comparing these two is just laughable. But back in '08, Andris was a great center. He scored with great efficiency, rebounded well, and even made a tolerable amount of free throws.
Bogut, however, is a top 3 center when he is healthy. He has all of the qualities Andris possessed in '08 as well as superior passing and shot blocking. Bogut is no doubt better as long as he is healthy enough to get on the court
Advantage: Andrew Bogut
KEY BENCH PLAYERS: (This consists of players who saw regular minutes off the bench)
The 2007-08 Bench
SF/PF: Matt Barnes
AVGS: 6.7 PPG 4.4 RPG 1.9 APG .423 FG% .293 3P%
SG/SF: Mickael Pietrus
AVGS: 7.2 PPG 3.7 RPG 1.0 SPG .439 FG% .673 FT%
SG: Kelenna Azubuike
AVGS: 8.5 PPG 4.0 RPG .445 FG% .364 3P%
The 2012-13 Bench
PG/SG: Jarrett Jack
AVGS: 15.6 PPG 6.3 APG 3.9 RPG 0.7 SPG .456 FG% .348 3PT%
SG: Brandon Rush
AVGS: 9.8 PPG 1.4 APG 3.9 RPG .501FG% .452 3PT%
PF: Carl Landry
AVGS: 12.5 PPG 5.2 RPG 0.3 BPG .503 FG%
AVGS: 9.2 PPG 3.5 RPG .416 FG% .420 3PT%
C: Andris Biedrins
AVGS: 1.7 PPG 3.7 RPG 0.96 BPG .609 FG% .111 FT%
(Andris may not belong here, but one of our centers is going to see regular bench minutes and until training camp begins, Beans is penciled in as the backup 5.)
Who's got the edge?: The new Warriors definitely have the edge here. They have an experienced back-up PG, a big man off the bench with a great post presence, and two wing players who can start in a pinch, one of which is coming off a phenomenal season shooting the three.
The '08 Warriors who saw minutes off bench were nearly all wing players. Though all of them played admirably and with a lot of energy, they often played out of position and the team was forced to play their starters much longer than anyone would have liked, particularly Baron Davis.
Advantage: The 2012-13 Warrior's Bench
The "Other Guys": These are the bench players who do not see regular or consistent playing time
Who's got the edge?: Without a doubt I gotta say the 2012-13 squad. The main reason most of the "other guys" on their team won't see regular minutes is because they are inexperienced. The other guys on the '08 squad are nearly all busts, lifetime role players, or under achievers. The guys not seeing regular minutes on the 2012-13 roster could easily play major roles in their team's future.
So overall, I'd say the squad we have now is better than the one we had in '08. The '08 team was explosive, fast paced, and fun to watch. But they simply did not have any depth and no real big man presence. The '13 roster has one of the deepest teams we've had in years as well as a frontcourt rotation that can actually be counted on for rebounding and scoring inside.
What do you guys think?