Despite featuring dual of a “baddest” players in a fasten in Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green, one of a articulate points that circled NBA pundits after a 2015-16 NBA Finals was a noticed miss of toughness in a Warriors’ roster.
Some attributed this to mental toughness, while others believed a character with that a group plays — one that focuses on refinement rather than energy — was a reason behind a barbarous 3–1 collapse. Whether this faith was common by a Golden State front office, a group finished adult going out and signing another one of a league’s tough guys in David West.
For West, this would be his second year in a quarrel holding a high bonus in sequence to join a contender. And, like many maestro players who do so while entrance a tail-end of their careers, he was ornate a “ring-chaser” tag by a lot of media outlets and fans alike. It was fitting of a actor who, notwithstanding 13 years of high-caliber play, had never sniffed a NBA Finals series.
The hapless partial of temperament that tag infrequently though, is a notice that a actor has a minimal purpose and is of small value to a team’s on-court production.
Suffice it to say, while his signing was generally noticed as a decent further to a Warriors’ roster, expectations were flattering grounded due to his age. For many players, unless they’re LeBron James, entrance 15 years in a fasten mostly means a pointy decrease in production.
But quick brazen to currently and we all now know how poignant West was to a Warriors’ pretension run. In short, a man’s still got it.
Hey, ma’, check it out! I’m a point-center
Coming into a season, we knew what West was able of on a descent side of a court. Throughout his career, he has always sported a arguable midrange game, he could be counted on to set tough picks and be a hazard on a hurl or popping out, and he was never fearful of putting in some dirty work on a descent glass.
Despite this being his 14th year in a league, many of his per 36 stats were remarkably unchanging opposite a house with his career averages (note that per 36 numbers are not ideally arguable numbers, yet instead are being used to assistance contextualize his prolongation due to his singular mins as a dais player).
He gave us that arguable midrange, holding a infancy of his shots (38.1%) from that area, and attack them during a really important rate (51%) while scoring 4.6 points per diversion (13.3 per 36). From a NBA’s dispatch stats, we can see that he was 4th on a group in shade assists (1.3), that are screens that directly lead to a margin goal. And his descent resilient rate (6.5 OBR%) matched his spin of prolongation while he was on a Pacers and Spurs. Essentially, during a unclothed minimum, West gave us a value we all had hoped for.
What many of us substantially didn’t see entrance was how many he would freshness as a passer underneath a Warriors’ system. Unless we were good able in his personification story — West used to play indicate ensure in high school — it was easy to tumble chase to a required basketball faith about bigs being reduction naturally skilful during that partial of a game.
While his normal box measure normal of 2.2 assists per diversion doesn’t accurately burst off a shade during you, his rate of 6.4 dimes per 36 roughly doubled his career normal entrance into a season. He accounted for somewhat subsequent a entertain of a assists (24.1%) doled out by a group when he was on a court, and mostly thrived during anticipating back-cutters for easy layups (Ian Clark says, Thanks!).
By season’s end, West was excelling in a identical purpose as Green, and finished adult apropos one of a some-more dangerous play-making forward-centers in a league. Among all a players in a NBA, usually 3 bigs (players listed as possibly a PF or C) ranked in a tip 50 for assists per 36. Those 3 were Green, West and Jokic — in that order.
To improved illustrate his efficacy as a passer, his support to pass % (11.5%) tied with Green for fourth among all forwards in a league. Plus, he had this beauty below.
It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, though. Does anyone remember a sarcastic prohibited takes after that harmful deteriorate opener opposite a Spurs? It really took some time to confederate West into a offense. And there were copiousness of frustrating moments when that second section he was a partial of seemed totally unhandy during putting a round in a basket — that competence explain his -1.47 ORPM.
Furthermore, while West became a retard in a Warriors’ flitting game, his turnover numbers peaked as good (likely due to a increasing array of passes he was creation each game). Luckily, it’s an area that trended downward for him though, as he went from a TOV% of 31.2% in a unchanging deteriorate to 14.1% in a postseason, that was a second best assist-to-turnover ratio on a group (3.60 AST/TO).
Age is usually a number; DBPM is not
Most of a value Warriors fans saw in signing David West final year was an approaching alleviation on a defensive finish for a second unit.
Marreese Speights was a charge-taking savant. But that was flattering many his usually saving beauty on that side of a court. The capabilities of a interior invulnerability fast became unprotected after Bogut went down with damage in Game 5 of a 2015–16 NBA Finals. In an instant, a team’s abyss during core consisted of a cleared adult Anderson Varajao and a damaged Festus Ezeli, to go along with Speights.
If there was any desire towards a coaching staff’s miss of faith in Speights’ ability to urge in that series, it was a fact that he finished adult personification a fewest array of mins among all Warriors players (4.7 MPG). He was scarcely unplayable due to his coverage stipulations and bad instincts in guarding a pick-and-roll.
Now, notwithstanding being no open chicken, we knew West would during a really slightest be a intelligent and able defender. He has always been a and on that side of a ball, sporting a certain DBPM (defensive box plus/minus) each year of his career. It was no opposite this season, as he finished adult with a 3.9 DBPM and 2.81 DRPM.
Admittedly, those can be really loud stats, and his numbers can substantially be partly attributed to him personification on one of a top-rated defenses final year. The advantages of personification alongside defensive stalwarts, such as Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Green, would many approaching outcome in a certain impact on any player’s DBPM.
But while there are some who can censor behind that spin of talent, if we puncture deeper into a numbers, we see that West was an constituent partial to interlude opponents all year long. He finished with a defensive rating (DEF RTG) of 98.6 while holding opponents to an considerable 41.9 FG% overall.
For contrast, DPOY finalist Rudy Gobert hold opponents to a 43.3 FG% and finished a year with a 100.6 DEF RTG. The obligatory DPOY, Green, hold them to 43.0% and had a 99.3 DEF RTG himself. This isn’t to advise that West is improved than possibly of those guys— Gobert and Green are guarding starting-caliber players. It simply points out that West hold his possess on that finish of a court, and afterwards some.
Oh, and that retard celebration that occurred night in and night out? To my surprise, West averaged 0.7 blocks per diversion and accounted for 38.4% of a team’s blocks while on a floor. His career normal is 0.8 blocks per diversion and he scarcely matched that outlay while personification half a volume of mins he was used to. Not bad for a male who was suspicion by many to be on his approach out due to Father Time.
Tough guys finish first
Now, by many examination standards, a comparison between formula and expectations is done to revoke a assemblage of a player’s deteriorate to a singular consumable scoring mark.
My initial instinct was to use a simple scholarly A-F grading scale. But deliberation West substantially hasn’t been inside of a classroom for well-over a decade, it didn’t seem to be a many suitable approach of depicting a prolongation of a decrepit maestro in his mid-thirties.
So, after some thought, we motionless that with a glower fitting a discontented movement film favourite who has grown sap of a world, a scale of 1 to 5 John McClanes would amply impersonate a spin of bad-assery David West exhibited as a Warrior this past 2016–17 season.
He wasn’t rise McClane (so no Die Hard), yet he positively wasn’t a washed-up-and-only-holding-onto-a-slim-chance-of-glory ring chaser some suspicion he’d spin out to be before a year began (aka A Good Day to Die Hard). Instead, he exceeded a expectations many of us had for him and astounded many with how good he fit into a complement with some sneaky, reward flitting skills to boot. That being said, we give him 4 out of 5 McClanes, equating him to Die Hard With a Vengeance.
He came in a small flat, astounded us with a twist, and finished it out strong.
The core position was ostensible to be a debility for a Warriors after losing Bogut and Ezeli. But what transpired instead was a arrangement of a three-headed hydra, center-by-committee monster, that gave Steve Kerr a several looks and skill-sets with that he could abuse hostile teams.
David West played an useful purpose in formulating that savage and his efforts were eventually rewarded with a championship ring he’s been fighting for his whole career. Congrats to him and let’s wish he gets to fit a second ring with us by a same time subsequent year.
Source: Basketball Reference
As an aside, usually wanted to quickly deliver myself to GSOM. Long time reader, initial time author here. I’ve ghosted around a forums for a small over four seasons now and adore a spin of discernment and explanation supposing by many of you. I’ll be looking brazen to fasten a discussions and contributing some-more articles and recaps via a arriving season. Let’s go WARRIORS!