Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Warriors Player Grades?

I had an entire article ready to go until this gem came out in the Chronicle today by Janny Hu.


I am forced to scrap the three hours I put in yesterday because I have to rip these ratings. Sometimes I think Bay Area sports writers just do this because they know how excited I get. Thank you Janny Hu and keep up the good work.

Baron Davis: A

All-Star numbers, All-Star durability

I completely agree that Baron deserves an A. His game has never been better and his fourth quarter play has been Jordanesque (except for the missed lay-up against the T-wolves but we are willing to overlook that).

(What in the world is “All-Star durability”? Tracy McGrady has been hurt most of the season and he is going to the All-Star game so does he have “All-Star durability”? Of course, I know what she is trying to say but if you are getting paid to write about sports please make things clear for everybody).

RT Grade: A

Monta Ellis: B+

Meshing speed with midrange shooting

What exactly does he have to do to get an A or A-? He has done everything he has been asked to do and more. He almost never takes bad shots, he goes to the rim as hard as Dwayne Wade and he is half his size, and he never complains about getting too few touches or shots. If Ellis was on the [fill in the blank below .500 Eastern Conference team], he would be averaging 26 a night.

RT Grade: A

Stephen Jackson: B+

Excellent start slowed by toe injury

How can Stephen Jackson not be in A range!? Does a toe injury give you a bad grade? I guess single-handedly turning the team into a playoff contender isn’t good enough. His mental lapses on defense and bad threes make it hard to put him in Baron and Ellis range, but a B+ is insulting.

RT Grade: A-

Al Harrington: C

Still searching for his spot in Nellie-ball

I have a place for him – on the block getting rebounds on both ends. Because Al Harrington takes threes and does not fight for boards like the thinner Biedrins and shorter Barnes, the Warriors need to make a trade to even dream of contending for a championship. Besides one great game against Yao and a couple of random hot games, he is keeping the team from becoming elite.

This starting lineup should play 40 minutes a night and compete for the Western Conference Title:

Baron, Ellis, Jackson, Harrington and Biedrins

However, Harrington doesn’t hit the boards and is a liability on offense.

(Remember these comments when I talk about Nellie)

RT Grade: D-

Andris Biedrins: B

Less playing time, less impact than last season

I agree with the grade but this little statement does nothing for me. The only reason he doesn’t get an A is because he is too foul prone. Besides, he has been very good and he does everything he is asked to do. Not to mention, he has built a lot of chemistry with the big three at the top of this post. If he finds a way to stay on the court, he goes straight to an A.

RT Grade: B+

Don Nelson: A

Can't argue with results, but will thin rotation hurt team?

An A!? Really? Taking a team that was an eight seed and turning them into, well, an eight seed is not exactly A work. He also did a masterful job while Stephen Jackson was out. In addition, the fact that 1) he allows Harrington to play on the perimeter (which keeps the Warriors from taking the next step, and (2) he is not telling Mullin everyday that he needs a banger inside that can match up with Paul Millsap, Ronny Turiaf, David West etc. is inexcusable. He has the Warriors where they were last year which, in the minds of true Warriors fans – aka those who want to win a championship, SUCKS.

RT Grade: C

Kelenna Azubuike: B-

Could use more of that early-season aggression

He continues to play above expectations and is obviously playing hurt. His defense is really what keeps him away from an A and off the court these days.

RT Grade: B

Matt Barnes: C+

Huge play of late after emotional season

According to Janny Yu, if your mother dies or you get injured your grade goes down. This thinking seems logical enough. I hate Matt Barnes’ game, but he leaves it all out on the court and he brings it every night, for better or for worse. He continues to make ill-advised passes and chucks up shots that make me cringe, but his energy has made a difference on numerous occasions. Not to mention, he tries to get rebounds inside when he is often completely overmatched. A C+ for Matt Barnes is ridiculous.

RT Grade: B

Marco Belinelli: Inc.

Tough times for shooter missing his shot

No problem here

RT Grade: Inc.

Austin Croshere: Inc.

Looks good when healthy, but can't stay healthy

I agree with the grade. Without a trade for a rebounder, Croshere and O’Bryant are going to be critical to the Warriors ability to make the leap to the 6 or 7 seed.

RT Grade: Inc.

Troy Hudson: No Grade

Hip injury ended season almost before it began

No problem here.

RT Grade: Inc.

Patrick O'Bryant: Inc.

Every time Nellie praises him, he lands back in doghouse

The last time I checked he has been healthy and has had every opportunity to earn playing time. It is fine to give a first year or often injured player an incomplete, but this guy does not get a free pass in my eyes. We need a rebounding big man and this guy has been so non-existent, that we had to sign D.J. Mbenga (Why do I have a feeling that Kwame Brown is in our future).

RT Grade: D

Kosta Perovic: Inc.

Sure looked good against Andrew Bogut in lone appearance

No problem here.

RT Grade: Inc.

Mickael Pietrus: D

Undersized and uninspired at power forward

All Pietrus wanted was a trade (even though he never came out and said it) and the Warriors failed to trade him. Now he is stuck playing out of position while getting little to no playing time while watching his trade value plummet. I think I would be a little “uninspired” too if I were him. His level of play leaves something to be desired, but having him at the 4 is just stupid.

RT Grade: C

C.J. Watson: B

So far, so good for D-League alum

No problem here.

RT Grade: B

Brandan Wright: Inc.

Potential is staying just that for now

No problem here.

RT Grade: Inc.

VP Chris Mullin: B

Has set up a flawed roster with great team chemistry

How long has Mullin been the GM? Last time I checked, if the roster is flawed (which I don’t think it is), it is his fault! The team’s chemistry has a lot to do with Nellie, not Mullin. (This grade and comment got me the most worked up). Mullin completely screwed up by giving out huge contracts to Richardson, Murphy and Dunleavy when he first started and signed up Mike Montgomery to coach the team (Grade at the time: F-). He then made up for his mistake by trading them all away and getting some productive players in return and signed up Nellie (Grade at the time: C). He now has a team that is set to lose to the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs and he is doing NOTHING about it. (The fans are to blame for this because they think exciting basketball is all the matters – I hate the smugness of the Bay Area sometimes). It seems as though Chris Mullin (like Nellie and Billy Beane) has ZERO interest in winning a championship. Maybe I am a little over critical of Mullin but there is nobody that can argue that this team has a chance to go to the Finals and that is his fault. Making the playoffs was nice, but this team should be looking to make the next step.

RT Grade: C-


Suckaflea said...

You forgot to mention that because Harrington is so concerned with scoring, he's taking shots away from Biedrins.

RT, who should Mullin trade for? Harrington, Pietrus anda first rounder for?

RT said...

Here is my quick break down of who we should target and they are grouped by trade feasability. I will give you my top 3 potential trades for the Warriors tonight or tomorrow morning.

Group 1 - Never Hurts to Ask

David Lee (Knicks)
Anderson Varejao (Cavs)
Andray Blatche (Wizards)

Group 2 - Have to Overpay But Worth It

Jeff Foster (Pacers)
Josh Boone (Nets)
Ben Wallace (Bulls)

Group 3 - Diamonds in the Rough?

Zaza Pachulia (Hawks)
Jamaal Maloire (Nets)

David said...

Nellie a C?!?! I realize that they're in 8th place, but put any other coach with this team and they would be near the cellar. Nellie is the glue to this team, keeping them motivated throughout the year. The only reason these guys get out of bed in the morning is because Nellie has made it fun again to play basketball. By the way, when Nellie took over, they weren't an 8 seed, they were the 3rd worst team in the Western Conference!

RT - Jeff Foster? Seriously? Don't we have enough washed up Pacers on our team? Maybe we could see if Detlef Schrempf wants to come out of retirment.

Suckaflea said...

RT, here's a little html tip, if you care:

Using a hyperlink:
(a href="nameoflink">hyperlinkname(/a)

replace parentheses with "<" and ">"

For example, since you mentioned Jeff Foster, see Garry St. Jean's draft history page and look under 1999.

In essence, the Warriors acquired Troy Murphy, Mookie Blaylock and Vonteego Cummings in exchange for the 10th pick in 1999[Jason Terry], Jeff Foster, Bimbo Coles and Duane Ferrell.

Now, that's solid GMing

RT said...

Let me make this clear:

I am the most tech inept person in Generation X so any HTML help is much appreciated

Whenever my Dad was asked about how good a GM Gerry St. Jean is/was, my Dad would respnd with "He is a really nice guy"

I think that sums up his career.


My grade on Nellie was for this year! The vast majority of Bay Area fans are living in the past and David proves my point beautifully. Nellie has been great and my grade for him last year would have been A+ but last year was, well, last year.

I have had so much fun thinking about possible trades that I am going to make it my next post and I will have it to you by tomorrow.

Suckaflea said...

People say I'm a nice guy all the time...should I send Cohan my resume?

thefantasticpoolio said...

I'm glad to see that you are finally coming around to my point of view on Barnes.

The problem with all the trades is that all the other NBA front offices know what we know: Pietrus is crap and Harrington is never going to be the player that everyone all sees in him. Its my understanding that the market for Pietrus is not just cold, but FRIGID!! I would love David Lee or Ben Wallace or Josh Boone (although you see what Nellie thinks of Boone, but I loved at UConn and I always thought he would be a better player than Villaneveau).

I understand your criticism of Nellie, but don't you think you are being a little over critical? I mean the Warriors are only 5.5 games out of first place in the West and there are three or four good teams that are not going to make the playoffs out here. Its a brutal conference and the Warriors seem to win games without bringing their A game every night.
Also I think Nellie's legacy is how the team performs after he leaves because he is not going to give Bellineli or Wright a shot.
As for your low post presence, how about good ole C-Webb? You know I am a huge Fab 5 fan, but I would rather watch Wright, O'Bryant or Petrovic than C-Webb's broken down ass. But being the loyal, I am going to wait it out.

Irbe4Life said...

"I hate Matt Barnes’ game"

Although the rest of your grade was complimentary, I think that we all know how I feel about MB (Yes MB!) even to the tune of rocking the same mohawk last summer (tats are next) unless you are a hater, there is nothing to hate about a guy, who along with Mark Messier truly exemplifies what a "captain" is.