Warriors’ rookies great in summer league
Even though they didn’t pick until No. 7, the Golden State Warriors would like to believe they had the best draft in the NBA in June.
The young guys did their best to prove it in the Las Vegas Summer League.
The Warriors, led by rookies Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, stormed through the competition in the desert, going 5-0 while winning by an average of 16.2 points per game.
They were the only team in either summer league — the Orlando version included — that went unbeaten.
Last season’s rookie backcourt of Klay Thompson (20.5 points) and Charles Jenkins (2.8 assists) led the Warriors in those categories, but make no mistake about it: The difference on most (if not all) nights was provided by the 2012 freshmen.
Barnes, a small forward who was the team’s lottery pick in June, played the most minutes among all Warriors in Las Vegas, and with good reason. He was so good (shooting 57.1 percent while averaging 16.8 points), the coaching staff had a hard time taking him off the court.
The performance immediately propelled Barnes into contention to be the Warriors’ starting small forward come October.
Ezeli, a center who was the last pick of the first round, made his biggest impact where the Warriors needed it most — at the defensive end. He blocked at least three shots in three games, helping Golden State record 29 blocks in the five games.
Green, a power forward who was the No. 35 overall pick in June, demonstrated he might not be undersized by NBA standards after all. He led the Warriors in rebounding at 7.6 per game, including 11 in his only start.
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