Anyway, following the draft, twitter was a flutter with exclamatory posts regarding the strength of the Warriors young core. If memory serves me correctly, the general tenor was something along the lines of “I’ll take this roster, I guess” and “At least we’re not the Bobcats.”
Surpisingly, Sacramento Kings’ fans shared in Warriors’ fans optimism. It’s a wonder that Kings’ fans still care, given how badly the team has managed recently. That is to say, I thought Kings’ fans would be extinct—in Sacramento anyway (they’re probably alive and well in Seattle).
In any case, I wondered which team actually had the better core of young players. It would appear as though the Kings and Warriors are veritable equals.
Golden State Warriors
Age: Is a complex formula. In its basic form, age equals the player’s birth subtracted from the current year. In its more complex form, age is some weird amalgamation of clothing, plastic surgery, and money spent on cars.
TS%: True Shooting Percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.
TOR: Turnover Rate, or Turnover Percentage is an estimate of turnovers per 100 plays.
ORtg: Offensive Rating is points produced per 100 possessions.
DRtg: Defensive Rating is points allowed per 100 possessions.
WS: Win Shares is an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player.
PER: Performance Rating is rating based on a player’s positive accomplishments minus their negative ones.
Each team has one above average player (Cousins and Curry), but beyond those two, each has a dearth of talent.
Bogut’s poor season might be explained by his injury, but his career PER is only 17. So, while he’s an upgrade over Biedrins, it would be absurd to expect much out of him.
That Isaiah Thomas finished behind Thompson in Rookie of the Year voting is dumbfounding. I realize Thompson’s final six weeks were rivaled only by Kyrie Irving, but, as you can see, he was hardly the player Thomas was. If Thompson made huge strides last year, as Marc Jackson believes, where did Thompson start from?
Speaking of Thomas, what an absolute steal he could turn out to be for the Kings. He clearly needs to improve his defense, which might be difficult given his size, but quickness and court vision like his don’t often come in pairs.
Each team clearly needs a strong defensive presence. Such a need likely explains each teams’ 2012 draft pick.
With relatively weak offensive abilities, it seems unlikely either Thomas Robinson or Harrison Barnes will be asked to do anything other than defend. If their defensive skills translate to the NBA, their teams will benefit greatly, especially Sacramento.
In all, neither team skill level separates itself from the other. Both are composed of players who possess equal parts skill and inexperience. It would seem the team destined to have the better season would be the team that is better coached. Warriors’ fans should know which team that will be.