So I figured I should share some great work on the Warriors by GSoM friend, Adam Lauridsen over at Fast Break: A Warriors Fan Blog. He recently completed his set of player previews for the Warriors as the team heads towards training camp. My apologies if you've already read through these, but if you haven't definitely give the player previews a read.
Does Monta have the killer instinct? It’s too early to say one way or the other, but his disappearance during the playoffs certainly makes it a legitimate question to ask. How he bounces back from the playoff disappearing act will be more telling of his drive and fire than what actually happened last spring. All young players make mistakes. The great ones learn from them.
I’ve labeled this group "the swingmen," but that’s not entirely accurate. Jackson and Azubuike can swing between the 2 and 3, but Pietrus and Barnes see as much time at power forward as small forward in Nelson’s undersized system. A better name for this group would be "the Nelson players." They’re long, quick, physical, and capable of creating mismatches at multiple positions. The chaos on which the Warriors thrive is largely initiated by what they do on defense. On offense, they’re inside-outside threats, from the three point arc to back-door cuts.
In breaking down the minutia of the Warriors’ upcoming season, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. This franchise is in much better shape than it was one, three, or five years ago. A perfect example: make a mental list of the Warriors’ best 5 or 7 power players of the last 15 years. It’s not a distinguished bunch. Webber, obviously, leads the pack, but was only here for a short run. Jamison deserves mention, but was always more of a 3 than a 4. Murphy and Harrington will be on the list, but no one is going to be talking (positively) about their inside games 10 years from now. The rest of the crowd? Despite some flashes of potential and the occasional fan favorite, the names are better left in the past. While the current roster still lacks a proven power forward, the 2 draft-day additions to the squad hold enough potential to nurse our hopes and ambitions in early September.
The center slot is a position of extremes for the Warriors. At one end of the spectrum is Andris Biedrins, a revelation last year and the man most likely to receive a huge new chunk of Chris Cohan’s money in the upcoming years. At the other end is Patrick O’Bryant. If only he were half as good a player as he is a punch-line. In the middle is Kosta Perovic, an almost entirely unknown quantity who could spend next year backing up Andris in the NBA or POB in the NDBL.
Make sure to read each of the player previews as Adam does a fine job of breaking down each player according to "What he did", "What I'm hoping for", and "The big question". A fun read.