Feb 17, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson and team during the third quarter against Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Will the Warriors Produce an All-Star this Season?

When Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid an NBA record $450 million to become the new owners of the Golden State Warriors, they meant business. The two men were optimistic about the future of the franchise, and they truly did give fans a reason to have high hopes. Last offseason, they even guaranteed that the Warriors would have at least one player get voted into the annual NBA All-Star game. GUARANTEED. And they even said that if that goal wasn’t accomplished, they would give away autographed balls and memorabilia to fans, for no charge at all.

But unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending. The Warriors didn’t even come close to having a player selected to the All-Star game, as Stephen Curry battled injury through most of the season, and Monta Ellis (before he was traded)  failed to draw attention around the league amongst the more highly-coveted guards.

Now here we are, hoping that this 2012-2013 season, the Warriors can avoid a 16th straight year of not sending a player to the All-Star game.

The last Golden State Warriors All-Star was Latrell Sprewell, way back in 1997. 15 years, it’s been a long time.

But to give you a perspective of how long it’s been, take a look at some facts. The last time the Golden State Warriors had an All-Star:

-LeBron James was in middle school

-Kobe Bryant was just starting his rookie season in the NBA

-Michael Jordan was still with the Chicago Bulls

As you can tell, it’s been quite a while. But that shouldn’t matter, because any player on any roster in the NBA is capable of having a breakout year and showing why they are All-Star worthy.

But who will it be? Well, my prediction for the Warriors starting lineup this season is this:

Point Guard: Stephen Curry

Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson

Small Forward: Harrison Barnes

Power Forward: David Lee

Center: Andrew Bogut

Based on this, let’s break down each position of the starting five: the guards, forwards, and center; and see who has the best chance of making the cut this year.

Guards: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson- Last year, the Western Conference All-Star guards consisted of: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, and Russell Westbrook. Those are names of some pretty talented guards, and players that have been to All-Star Weekend several times in the past. I find it hard to believe that either of the Warriors backcourt members will be able to make it this year, mainly due to a few things. Stephen Curry is still fighting back from injury, and nobody knows for sure how well he can play. Also, Curry isn’t too experienced, and a breakout/career season for him would just be any other season for the elite guards in the West. They make explosive plays and put up incredible numbers, so the competetion is thick. I think the same goes for Klay Thompson, who definitely has tons of potential, but again, a great season for him would just be a below average season for a player like Russell Westbrook’s caliber.

Forwards: Harrison Barnes, David Lee- This is a position that I think the Warriors actually have a chance in. For David Lee, he knows what its like. He was an NBA All-Star in the 2010 season, and I’m sure he’d like to be in that position again. Last year’s Western Conference All-Stars were Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Dirk Nowitzki. To me, Durant and Love are the only givens to qualify again this year. But with Griffin battling the left knee injury that held him out of the Olympics, Dirk’s old age, and Aldridge’s inexperience, I think Lee has a shot. David averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game last season, but it just wasn’t enough. It’ll be tough for him to increase his stats this year, especially while playing on a well-balanced team like the Warriors, but if Lee can bring those numbers up to 22 PPG and 12 RPG, and also average about a block a game (David has never averaged over 0.5 BPG in his career), then I think he has a legitimate chance at being an All-Star again. As for Harrison Barnes, he’s only a rookie, so we have to cut him some slack on this one. He should aim to make the Rising Stars challenge, and maybe even go for the MVP in that game. His game will develop and mature over the next few years, and hopefully he will be an All-Star caliber player by then.

Center: Andrew Bogut- This one is going to be really tough. The Western Conference centers last year were Andrew Bynum and Marc Gasol, and they were sensational. With Andrew Bynum off to the 76ers, and Dwight Howard coming to the Lakers, many people believe Howard will be the starting center for the West this year, and I don’t blame them. Howard is expected to be out of action till January due to the back injury he’s recovering from, but the six-time NBA All-Star should have no problem racking up votes come February. Marc Gasol has been praised by many as the best “all-around” center in the NBA. He’s helped Memphis reach the playoffs the last two seasons, and his veteran experience is key to his success. Andrew Bogut will have to really make a tremendous step forward to be in the All-Star game this year, and I just don’t see it happening. He will be playing in a system that is new for him, and coming off his injury, many are still skeptical about him, and if he was worth trading Monta Ellis for. Bogut should strive to remain healthy all season, and contribute as much as he can to the Warriors, especially on the defensive side.

With all that analysis and breakdown, I don’t think having a representative in the All-Star Game is very important. The Golden State Warriors need to focus, and play the disciplined basketball that they are more than capable of playing. This type of play should help them reach the  playoffs and even make a long run, especially if the team can stay healthy and play up to their potential. Golden State is finally drawing attention around the league, I’d hate to see it all go to waste.

Tags: All-Star Andrew Bogut Basketball David Lee Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes Klay Thompson NBA Stephen Curry Western Conference

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawnkfrazier Shawn K Frazier

    I have to question your knowledge of the game if you think David Lee has any chance to average 1 block per game. No one ever goes from the .5 area to 1.0 blocks per game, unless a corresponding increase in minutes happens. For Lee, that is impossible. What are you smoking? Give me some? lol.
    No, Lee’s numbers are very unlikely to get better, unless you are talking about synergy defensive stats or something on that order. With a healthy Andrew Bogut (of course this is not guaranteed by any means) Lee naturally becomes a better defender, as he can be more aggressive with Bogut’s help defense behind him. Also, Lee can be even more efficient than he already is on the offensive side of the court. Lee will not face near as many double teams as he has in previous years, as he is a good passer and could and will find Bogut open for many dunks as the year goes on.
    Lee with 1.0 blocks per game, lol. That’s just not what he does. lol. That doesn’t mean that Lee won’t be an All Star. I am one of the few people that would rather have Lee than Pau Gasol… I think Lee is a tougher player. I think PauGasoft is a nickname that was given for a reason. I also saw that P. Gasol is not someone that was listed as an all-star last year, and that surprises me. I also was surprised that the writer thinks Lamarcus Aldridge is limited by his inexperience. Hmmmm, has he not been in the league longer than Love, Griffin, and maybe even Durant? Aldridge is older than any one of those players and has already been an All-Star. My knock on Aldridge is that he doesn’t rebound like a PF needs to, and David Lee is a much better rebounder. Why Lee could be an All-Star for me? Efficiency and improved defensive stats. I expect Lee to be an 18-9 guy who plays defensively around the paint very aggressively. I expect him to challenge every other PF and or center, as he may play the position in a small lineup from time to time. He does have a history of allowing a lower per to his position matchup than he scores… Independent of position.

    • Brian

      Thanks for commenting on the article, and I respect your opinion(s). I know it’ll be hard for David to make the jump to 1 BPG this season, I was just suggesting that if he improves another facet of his game then hopefully it’ll increase his chances of making the All-Star team. Lee is a great player, but I don’t think I can agree with you that Pau is better. Gasol has better footwork, fundamentals, and he’s also got championship pedigree and experience. He rebounds like a beast and knows how to play the game. As for the best player, I would almost agree that Lee is the best, although last year I definitely thought it was Monta. I think Steph will stay healthy all season and be their best player. Once again, thanks for your opinion, it’s good to hear from readers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawnkfrazier Shawn K Frazier

    And by the way David Lee is the Warriors best player… So many people overlook that. When Ellis was here, it was a very close competition between Lee and Ellis. Lee has always been at a disadvantage due to not having an NBA caliber center next to him, yet has made an All-Star team already.