In my mind, the Golden State Warriors are much more athletic and skilled team than ever before. The starting five, aside from Biedrins, has relatively balanced skills of scoring, passing, and, above all, the ever elusive outside shooting (that was even spotty with the “We-Believe” era). But with all this offensive power, the Warriors have not played well. The defensive problems are obvious with Lee, as Tim Kawakami points out about Channing Frye’s destruction of him on Monday night.
But Wages of Wins calculates that while Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, and Vladimir Radmanovic have actually improved their wins generated by playing more efficiently on offense. But, the new additions, Wright and Lee, have played so inefficiently that they have wiped out these improvements:
David Lee is playing the worst basketball of his pro career (5.2 fewer wins). His shooting percentage and defensive rebounding are at career lows. According to Hoopdata.com he is taking far fewer shots at the rim and his jump-shot has fallen apart. Why? Likely injury. Lee suffered a freak accident in New York getting Wilson Chandler’s tooth lodged in his elbow. He was hospitalized for days and continues to wear a large bandage
Dorell Wright is also having the worst season of his pro career (2.5 fewer wins). After signing a $12 million contract proclaiming the Warriors would be "a great situation for me to showcase my talent and show everybody what else I bring to the table other than being a spot-up shooter and defender," Wright has wobbled. He’s continued to improve his three-point shooting, but his mid-range shooting has been terrible (44 of 162 from ten to 23 feet), his rebounding is at a career low, and his turnover rate ties a career high.
With his statistical evidence, Wright and Lee have produced nearly 8 LESS wins to date compared to last season. Lee’s slump isn’t surprising considering the injuries. And he’s playing about as good as I would expect in a new offense versus the free wheeling times of the Mike D’Antoni era. But Wright’s offense problems between 10 and 23 feet is surprising, especially since I can barely remember a time when he even took a shot from that distance.
Wright’s game has steadily improved as has his shooting percentages. But it is surprising that Wright, our team’s lone swingman, is that bad in the mid-range. He clearly has the skills to do it as we’ve seen him on dribble penetrations as of late. But the numbers that WoW provides is jarring.
With that said, is Dorell Wright’s $2.5 million dollar contract still a steal? And perhaps there’s a reason why he wasn’t chosen to be in the Taco Bell’s Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.