David Lee teaming with Dre Biedrins in the front court has given the Warriors something they have never had since…ever: Presence in the paint.
Neither is a defensive force (nor are they when they’re together, yet). But Adam Lauridsen of the San Jose Mercury “Fast Break” Warriors blog writes that them together on the court was definitely a benefit statistically:
The Warriors’ defense wasn’t great — particularly Lee (and others) on Scola — but the team did two things well enough to come away with the win. First, the guards and wings closed out on Houston’s shooters, denying them easy looks from behind the arc. The Rockets went 4-16 thanks in part to steady, aware efforts by Curry, Ellis, DWright and Carney. Second, Biedrins and Lee did a nice job clogging the key to deny the Rockets easy looks around the basket. That’s not to say there weren’t breakdowns, but the presence of a big body to provide help defense raised the degree of difficulty for the Rockets bigs. For the roughly 26 minutes Lee and Biedrins played together, the Warriors were +12. For the other 22, the team was -8. Neither shied away from mixing it up with Houston’s wide-bodies. Although Andris fouled out (at least two of the calls were bogus), I’d rather have him active for 27 minutes than passive for however long he would have played but for the fouls.
Is Dre finally “back”? So far so good as the David Lee acquisition seems to be benefitting Biedrins and the Warriors. Neither will scare opposing teams the way a front line like Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett might.
More importantly, does that mean we won’t see anymore 4 guard and Biedrins matchup confusion against bigger lineups