Dec 5, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons power forward Charlie Villanueva (31) guards Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) during the second quarter at The Palace. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Analyzing Carl Landry’s Impact With the Warriors


Call the cops; the Warriors are thieves. Well, you know what I mean. But they certainly can bargain, particularly with Carl Landry and his respective brass.

During the offseason, Golden State formed a capable unit of players. This stemmed from their extremely successful draft which saw them add three players who have already play substantial roles in their hot start. I’m referring to Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Festus Ezeli, of course. Then, all the Warriors needed was some interior depth to complete his master plan.

Two words, one name: Carl Landry

Perhaps Landry, himself, settled for too less as Golden State inked him to a two-year, eight million deal. Or, maybe he got the contract he deserved. After all, his career averages aren’t super-duper great, as he has averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game over his five year career. Still, the Warriors still found a gem for the price.

Let’s delve into Landry’s impact on Golden State a little more.

Let me warn you again, his stats aren’t eye-popping. He’s averaging 13 points and roughly seven rebounds through 29 games this year. In just 25 minutes per game, though, he’s been extremely efficient, shooting just a tick above 56 percent from the field.

December 18, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) dunks the ball against the New Orleans Hornets during the fourth quarter at ORACLE Arena. The Warriors defeated the Hornets 103-96. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

However, it’s not necessarily the stats that justify how valuable Landry’s actually been. Instead, it’s his versatility to matchup against bigger forwards and centers despite being a shade undersized. Given that David Lee is also a bit undersized to play center, the Warriors run into some complications when both are controlling the paint simultaneously, right?

Wrong.

One of Golden State’s best lineups indeed consists of Landry and Lee playing alongside each other. To be specific, of the lineups that have played more than 20 minutes together, it’s the second best unit behind their actual starting lineup, of course. I don’t see any problems.

To be sure, the Lee and Landry frontline duo isn’t the best rebounding front court Jackson has at his disposal. But he’s making do without his injured center who will eventually provide more rebounding upon his return. On the offensive side of the ball, though, it’s a very potent lineup with Jarrett Jack, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson contributing most of the scoring.

Even Landry is capable of transforming into a scorer. Take Wednesday night against the Kings for example. He was quiet for most of the game, scoring just a couple buckets on a few free throws. Then, the fourth struck and he took over in the post, creating his own shots instead of working off pick-and-rolls by his guards.

Why is this important, you may ask?

Because it’s another example of Landry’s versatility. Meaning, he can create his own shots with a nifty mid-range jumper and turnaround shot out of the post up. I think his 52 percent field goal percentage in the 15 to 19 feet area paints a pretty clear picture as to what I’m talking about.

Yet, he’s also very familiar with working off these designed plays. Most notably is his liaison with Jarrett Jack. He has seemingly carried over his connection with Jack from their New Orleans days together, as the veteran point guard has assisted 27 of his field goals this season; the most by any player on the Warriors.

From a more broad view of Landry’s effectiveness off the ball, take Friday night for example. Landry moved without the ball more to compile his 11 points, as three of his four field goals were assisted.

Landry simply goes with the flow of the game. Sometimes he has more opportunities to create for himself depending on the matchup, while at other times his penetrating guards provide him with chances to score.

The Warriors were desperately in need of a backup big man, and by the look of things, they found their guy in Carl Landry.

Tags: Carl Landry Golden State Warriors Jarrett Jack