David Lee talked for almost 10 minutes after practice. His shirt was sweaty from whatever workouts he took part in, but there’s still no timetable for his return to game action. Here’s what we know:
- The hamstring injury he suffered against the Spurs on March 22 led to nerve irritation in the hamstring.
- The team did an MRI on his back that came back negative, so it’s not a disc issue.
- While Lee’s condition isn’t getting worse, he still doesn’t have the explosion necessary to help the Warriors.
It sounds like Lee won’t be back until the playoffs, but he’s liable to come back at any time. So after several health-related questions, I decided to switch things up with a question about Lee’s value to the team when healthy.
“You’ve been one of the leaders on this team for quite some time,” I started.
“But there’s some questions as to whether the team might be better with you out,” I continued.
“Hmm,” said Lee.
“Or not in the starting lineup. Do you have any reactions to those at all, or even pay attention to those questions?”
“No, I don’t pay attention to what Tim Kawakami writes. By this point, you ought to know that it’s rather biased. I’m not taking shots at him, but I think he just took Harrison’s name out of the article and inserted Draymond’s this year.
“I think I’ve been a guy that’s worked my butt off for this team, been a leader on and off the court. A huge stat they say is plus/minus. I think I’m ninth in the league in that right now. So if I’m hurting the team, I don’t see it. There’s a lot of things I can get better at, and I’m going to keep doing that. And I think I can help this team do a lot of things in the playoffs coming up if I get healthy,” Lee said.
Kawakami isn’t the only writer to question whether the Warriors might actually be stronger without Lee, but his recent article titled “Draymond Green as the Warriors’ most important power forward? In some ways, it’s already probably happening” is almost certainly what Lee was referring to.
In that story, Kawakami referenced how Andrew Bogut called the team’s starting lineup on Sunday — which featured a frontline of Bogut, Green and Andre Iguodala — “our killer lineup.” After Lee and Mark Jackson spoke to the media today, Bogut gushed about Green’s game and compared him to a former teammate of his, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
“Obviously Draymond is much more perimeter-oriented than D-Lee is, and can shoot the three-ball. So there’s a bit more spacing out there, probably. Draymond defensively can guard four positions, so that takes a lot of pressure off our defense to have Draymond switch with guys like Andre and so on. When they run pick-and-rolls, we can just switch them, which helps out our defensive rotations.
“I played with one of the best, in my opinion, Mbah a Moute. I think he’s one of the best defenders in the league. Draymond reminds me a lot of Luc when Luc was younger. He hustles. They say they both can’t shoot the ball well, but they still knock down big shots when you need them. Their rebound rate is phenomenal, and they play good D.”
After the Mbah a Moute comparisons, I asked Bogut what advantages Lee brings.
“He’s a scoring post presence for us. That’s what we’re missing right now. Obviously he’s one of the best guys at slashing to the rim and finishing with 10 feet or closer. We definitely miss that a little bit, and we’ll welcome that back when we can.”
Then Bogut was asked once again what it’s like to play with the “killer lineup.”
“It’s great. Our defense is really moving and clicking. People say our scoring will struggle with that lineup, last night they didn’t. It’s definitely a lineup I like playing with consistently,” said Bogut, who then remarked on the Warriors’ point total against Utah (130).
“Season high, yeah. Albeit against a team that is somewhat tanking. But yeah, it’s very, very interesting.”
Very interesting, indeed.
I really like David Lee as a person and what he can bring to the locker room is hard to replace. He's a season removed from being a top 5 power forward in the league, its hard to argue that David Lee is bad. However, I think its how the offense is being handled is why everyone is so down on Lee. The Warriors showed everyone how they can win last year in the playoffs. Lee's injury gave their offense a new look that played to Steph and Klay's strengths. A year later and instead of embracing that type of offense, they flat out refused to acknowledge it and pushed matchup exploitation and isolation possessions.
That said that type of offense isn't wrong, especially when you have a player as talented as David Lee. Moving Lee to the bench doesn't make much sense given how much he's paid, but if you look at how Mark Jackson likes to use his bench unit - all on or all off - the idea of a David Lee run bench becomes more intriguing. He can exploit defensive weaknesses of second units while also not having to worry as much on defense as he would as a starter.
Warrior fans are angry more so about how the Jackson refuses to use an offensive blueprint that won him the playoffs last year. The can make that jump to elite, should Jackson choose to accept it.
Dear queen slander. Your not just a racist fool, your stupid. Peopke who like Kawasaki read his stuff, but you show that even peopke who disagree read his stuff. That is a gold mine for him. ( see how idol dropped after cowell left) if you had any intelligence at all, you would ignore his stuff so it can pass quietly through the night. Your protestations not only shoe your lack of comprehension but your inabilities to simply control your childishness.
A huge reason for DLee being in trade rumors last summer and probably this upcoming summer is his contract( $15 million per for the next two seasons). As big as a contributor he is for the warriors for the last two seasons, I would not mind him getting traded as long as they get equal for luckily better value for him. Maybe Lacob and Myers can take a shot at trying to trade Lee for Kevin Love. Idk if the Twolves would do it, probably have to throw Barnes in the trade.
With Draymond having a good year is also a reason why DLee is getting flack for being a liability especially on D.
I just think if DLee was not getting double figure salary, all of this talk about him would be toned down
He is one of the reason why the Dubs are succesful the past two years. He play hard. Dubs will not be a title contender without him. He was an all star last year and sorry Green is not that close. Give the credit to this guy.
@datakuan Learn proper grammar, please.
@dubs49ersgiants I don't think they need to make a big blockbuster trade with Lee nor should they. If they trade Lee (something that I don't see happening ever), they should focus on role players. They really need another shooter and a dedicated slasher off the bench. Getting a backup PG like Will Bynum or even Jeremy Lin, players like that who attack the down the lane to create drive and kick situations as well as get to the line. And a spot up shooter to add to their roster wouldn't hurt. Outside of Curry and Thompson, the Warriors really don't have anyone else that can hit the 3's at an elite level.
The Warriors don't need a big impact player. If Barnes can return to form, they have enough fire power that just having someone else big like Love demanding touches will cause the offense to muck up like it has.