Friday, November 16, 2012

Harrison Barnes Arrives

He showed flashes through the first few games of the season, but over his last two games, Harrison Barnes has shown exactly why the Warriors were so stoked when the forward fell to them at 7 last June.

After Brandon Rush went down with his season ending injury in the 2nd game of the season, Mark Jackson knew he was going to need someone to step up and help take some minutes at the three spot to help Harrison Barnes. However, as it turns out, the rookie has appeared up to the task of taking on the extra minutes and has actually thrived doing so. Barnes has absolutely come alive in the Warriors last two games, both victories, and he was instrumental in both. Not only have the Dubs been without Rush, but we all know about the Andrew Bogut saga (more on that in a bit), so the Warriors have needed a shot in the arm and Barnes is providing it. He had his coming out party vs. the Hawks at Oracle on Wednesday night, scoring 19 and reeling in 13 boards to help the Warriors to the 92-87 victory. Then, he followed it up with another beauty against perhaps the best defending small forward in the NBA in Andre Kirilinko and the T-Wolves. Barnes scored 18 and had 9 boards in Friday's game, and he was active and all over the floor all night. The way he's exploding to the rim know just shows you the confidence he's building and you can really start to see a star blossoming. Nobody wanted to lose Rush for the year, but if Barnes keeps playing the way he has, it'll make it a much easier pill to swallow.

Now, onto the Warriors injury watch, which has been sort of good news/bad news early on. We knew Andrew Bogut's time early on this season would be limited, but it looks like he was used too much, too early, and it's forced him to the sidelines indefinitely. He had to make a trip to the doctor that did his surgery the other day, which tells you things are not going as planned, and now what looked to be a 1-2 week break to build strength and stamina, could turn into a much longer absence. However, with the way the team is playing right now, currently 5-4 and getting decent production out of the duo of Carl Landry and Festus Ezieli at the 5, I wouldn't rush the big Aussie along too quickly. I'd like to see him able to play 30+ minutes a night by mid-December, and if that becomes the case, the Dubs should be fine. If they try to rush him back, and he ends up sitting the year, than they won't. We've seen how good even an injured Bogut can be in limited minutes, so imagine what they can do with a healthy one. Now on the positive, the other set of fragile ankles, Steph Curry's, look to be in great shape and he's showing no ill-effects at all so far. His shot has been a bit hit-or-miss, but Steph looks like he's regaining form as evident of his 17 ppg, 5.5 apg average so far.

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