Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grading the Warriors

Grading the Warriors

Note: This evaluation of the Warriors is based purely on the performance a player is capable of and not of what I think of him overall. As an example, I would recommend the Warriors play a lucky fan out of the crowd rather than play Jamal Crawford, but I am not going to give him an F.

Front Office – F

Unlike the rest of the Bay Area media, I could careless about the politics in the front office. What I do care about is that the front office has acquired two of the three biggest losers in the NBA – Jamal Crawford and Corey Maggette (Eddy Curry is the third). There is no excuse for these acquisitions. If it wasn’t for Isiah Thomas, I would say the Warriors front office has had the worst 6 months of any front office in recent memory.

The Warriors should have called Harrington’s bluff and let him sit on the bench for the rest of the year. Trading for Jamal Crawford effectively kills the franchise for at least the next three years unless he opts out of his contract and signs with someone else. In the NBA, there are franchises that win and franchises that lose and acquiring a player with a big contract that has not been on a winning team since the 20th century is not the way to move into the group of winners.

(If the Warriors resign Crawford after he opts out, I am jumping on the OKC bandwagon)

Don Nelson – C

As mentioned above, the front office murdered Nelson’s season so he cannot go any lower than a C. However, his rotations have been ridiculous this season. Besides Biedrins and Jackson, every player has seen his minutes increase and decrease a few different times during the season. Nellie continues to leave Maggette out there in the waning minutes of the 4th quarter when he stops playing defense (Miami game) and refuses to do anything but take jump shots (you pick the game). Once everyone gets healthy, I have to believe the rotations will get much more consistent. However, consistent minutes don’t guarantee success.

Stephen Jackson – B+

It doesn’t matter if you love or hate Captain Jack’s game because he gives more effort than 98% of the league on a given night. In addition to his effort, Jack continues to be the only reliable perimeter defender on the team. The Warriors would have been the worst team in the league in the first half of the season if it weren’t for Stephen Jackson.

(Not to mention, he is the only proven NBA player on the team that can even be considered a point guard)

Andris Biedrins - A

If it was possible to measure what players got the most out of their ability, I would put Biedrins in the top 5 of players in the NBA. All you can hope is that Wright and Randolph are paying attention.

Kelenna Azubuike – B-

The biggest problem with Kelenna is decision making. As the great sports blogger, Curt Shilling, says most hitters decide if they are going to swing before the pitcher gets the sign. Well, Kelenna is that batter on offense. He gets the ball and decides that he is going to shoot no matter who is guarding him or what the situation is. However, his effort cannot be questioned so he deserves a B-.

Corey Maggette – C

There isn’t a player in the NBA that is more consistent than Corey Maggette. He cares about two things: 1) his numbers and 2) the amount of money on his pay check. He has been that way for 9 years and nobody has given him a reason to care about anything else.

(Maggette is the reason people hate the NBA)

Ronny Turiaf – B+

BREAKING NEWS: Ronny Turiaf is a forward that is being forced to play center because the team loves collecting guards as opposed to big men. The Warriors are at their best with Turiaf and Biedrins on the floor at the same time but the lack of big men makes this situation virtually impossible. Turiaf has been better than expected.

(I actually read a blog the other day where the author said Turiaf was not ready for the big time. This is like putting J.T. Snow in left field and telling him after a few errors that he is not ready to play defense on the big league level. Ridiculous.)

Marco Belinelli – B

Positives: He turned into a bulldog on defense that culminated in Danny Granger almost punching him a couple weeks ago. In addition, he is probably the best passer on the team.

Negatives: He takes TERRIBLE shots. Ironically, he makes them once and awhile but they are still terrible.

Conclusion: I am excited to see what he can do with Monta in the back court 4 years from now when Jamal Crawford’s contract runs out.

Jamal Crawford – C+

I would give him a D but he is trying to play more like a traditional point guard. Of course, it doesn’t work but I give him an A for effort and an F for killing Michigan basketball, the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks and eventually the Golden State Warriors.

(Anyone reading this article saying to themselves – “RT has no idea what he is saying, JC scored 41 points in a game” … congratulations, you have been Crawforded

Crawforded: Thinking Jamal Crawford makes your franchise better.

Also, Koski would like everyone to be reminded that it is no coincidence Michigan State won the National Championship the year Jamal Crawford played at Michigan. I guess we can look forward to the Lakers winning the World Championship)

Brandan Wright – C

He was well on his way to B territory until he got hurt against the Lakers. However, he is too talented to continue his sporadic play. It is time to give us some Biedrins type progression.

Anthony Morrow – A

He plays hard, doesn’t get too lost on defense and shoots the lights out. Giving this undrafted rookies anything less than an A would be wrong

C.J. Watson – C

He adds as much to the team as Speedy Claxton did. It is not worth my time or yours to read anything about C.J. Watson

Anthony Randolph – D

I know it is harsh but he might be the most talented player on the team not named Monta Ellis. I have seen ZERO progress on the floor and Nellie seems to like him about as much as a Red Sox fan like A-Rod. Personally, I am not convinced he is giving it 100% on or off the court.

Jermareo Davidson, Monta Ellis, Rob Kurz and Marcus Williams – Incomplete

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