Warriors Success Rests on Lee’s Shoulder
The Warriors enter the jaws of the season with concerns aplenty, from Steph Curry’s troubling turnover trend to Andrew Bogut’s spotty availability to the maddening inconsistencies of young guns Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.
All valid issues, yes, but none will more accurately dictate the team’s direction than the contributions of David Lee.
“I think I’ve gotten back to it these last couple games,” Lee said after practice Thursday. “Everybody is going to have that during the year when they hit a little dip. I was still rebounding the ball well, but I didn’t have the lift on my shot.”
The tender shoulder, which still is discolored, merely dropped Lee’s game to a level lower than it had fallen. He has not, over the past two months, been the player who in early January immodestly proclaimed himself “the best power forward in the league.”
Lee’s typically flashy numbers now were as essential to the Warriors’ cause as to his fantasy league owners. He greatly assisted rookie Festus Ezeli in plugging some of the interior hole left by the absence of Bogut, while providing much of the offense missing as Curry and Thompson struggled with their jump shots. David “No D” Lee even played some respectable defense.
If that David Lee shows up over the last 20 games, the Warriors will need superlative efforts from most everyone else to maintain their playoff position.