Monday, April 18, 2011

Where the Golden State Warriors Go From Here

The overall expectations for these 20010-11 Golden State Warriors was up in the air at the start of this past season.

Who will be the majority scorer, Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry? Will David Lee be all they payed him to be? What role will Dorell Wright play? Is coach Keith Smart in the future plans for this team?

Turns out, all of these questions were answered, and rather quickly.

The first thing we learned was that Ellis is the man on this team. He averaged 24 points per game this season, and some may say he was snubbed from the All-Star team, although the jury is still out on that one.

Ellis lead this team throughout the entire season by constantly playing every minute of games and putting the team on his back when things got tough on the court.

Any thoughts of Curry taking over the reigns for the Warriors were quickly out the window.

There were some surprises this season. Good and bad.

First, Lee was not all they payed him to be, at least not in the statistical category.

In his first year with the Warriors, he averaged 16.5 ppg and 9.8 rpg. Hardly worth the $80 million, but for the first time in awhile, the Warriors had a legitimate big man.

Still, he did not produce as they thought he would.

The dream was a 20 ppg/10 rpg big man. What they got was a rather soft mid-range big man.

But the Warriors made up for that with the addition of Dorell Wright, who proved to be quite the surprise this season.

Wright averaged 16.4 ppg, while shooting almost 38% from 3-point range, and earning a spot in the 3-point contest at the All-Star game.

A great pick-up for the Warriors, and a young man who has tremendous upside in the future.

The best thing that happened this season was the fact that everyone knew their role on this team rather quickly.

Ellis is the #1 guy, there was zero debate about that this season. No one can take over a game like Ellis. Curry is the side-kick with the 3-point shot, Wright is the functional small forward and Lee is the low-post threat who sports a mid-range game.

Still, the Warriors were not competitive in the Western Conference this season.


Lack of a true point guard, and lack of a true big man.

So where do they go from here?

Two issues need to be addressed this offseason: Keith Smart and where they are going to go to find a true big man.

As of now, the Warriors will be holding somewhere around the 11th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

There is no telling who will be leaving for the NBA from college and who will be staying so it is impossible as of this moment to predict who the Warriors should take, but it needs to be a big man.

Honestly, centers are going to be hard to find in this year's draft, but either of the Morris twins look to fit at #11.

As for Keith Smart, the Warriors' front office will be doing some evaluating this offseason.

Sure, he improved the team, both in record and the way they play defense, for the most part. But is he the future?

The evaluation has to do with the future and the potential NBA lock-out in the coming future.

This is an important offseason for the Warriors if they want to make any strides in the ultra-competitive Western Conference in the coming years.

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