Sunday, November 14, 2010

Warriors lose two straight without David Lee

I think it was John Wooden who said, "you learn more from a loss than you do from a win." The Warriors did some learning over the past two games against the Bulls and Bucks.

The Warriors learned they are not very good without David Lee, who sat out to due an infection on his left elbow. Lee injured the elbow against the Knicks Nov. 10 as he connected with the Knicks guard Wilson Chandler's front teeth, an incidental blow that resulted in Chandler losing a tooth.
Without Lee, the Warriors didn't have a trustworthy inside option in the half court set. Biedrins isn't a player who can post up. He likes to clean up misses and lurk around the rim for dump off passes on guard penetration. The lack of inside presence on offense forced the Warriors to fire a lot of (mostly contested) jumpshots. This hurt them in the free throw department as they shot 10 free throws to Milwaukee's 21 on Nov.13. Lee also gives averages 11 rebounds a game, another area where the Warriors were outplayed in the losses.

Brandan Wright was asked to step up in the absence of Lee. He did not. Wright went for 6 points in two games and couldn't stay on the floor. There's still plenty of games to play and it's unreasonable to think Wright could pick up Lee's production, but Warriors fans are losing patience with Wright after the Warriors gave up Jason Richardson for him as the 6th pick in the 2007 draft. Wright has been held back by a shoulder injury the past year, but has shown value with his quick hands and length, specifically by blocking and altering shots. At times, Wright looks a step behind the speed of NBA play and doesn't provide what the Warriors need: rebounds.

Don't give up on Brandan at this point. At this point, he is a player Keith Smart can bring off the bench to protect the rim when Biedrins gets in foul trouble. Don't expect more, just hope David Lee gets well soon.

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