With a 22-11 record, the Golden State Warriors are having a fantastic season thus far. Despite their blowout loss last night to divisional opponent Los Angelas Clippers, you can’t ignore the broader accomplishments of this team. Impressive play from forward David Lee and guard Stephen Curry ultimately have this team playing like legitimate playoff contenders, but Jarrett Jack’s role can’t be ignored either.
Throughout the season I’ve watched the Warriors play and have came to the conclusion that depth is what makes them such a well-rounded, good team. Backup point guard Jarret Jack is one of the key guys off the bench and has been playing incredibly well. He is averaging 12.2 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game, and in his last ten games he’s been particularly hot, averaging 15.9 points and 5.9 assists shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.
The Numbers certainly do not lie – Jack has been extremely productive off the bench. Although he does something that’s more important that numbers can’t illustrate.
Starting point guard Stephen Curry has been playing out of his mind. Starting off guard Klay Thompson is a gifted shooter with a beautiful stroke; he can knock down threes from anywhere on the court and has done that throughout the season.
I don’t like to classify Curry as a pure point guard because I still don’t think he is. He’s a tremendous player and can run the point guard position fairly well and distribute the basketball fairly well too, but he is the type of player that looks for a shot before he looks to give someone else a shot. But with the way Curry’s played, he has proven that he should be looking to score when the ball is in his hands. He has been a prolific scorer and a knock-down shooter from virtually anywhere on the floor. Take a look at his shot chart (green in above average, yellow is average and red is below average)
Anyway, it’s Jack who comes off the bench and allows Curry and Thompson to play off the ball where they can be most successful. Jack esseitially plays as the team’s facilitator and gives everyone good looks to score the ball. Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, Mark Jackson typically plays Jack at the point, Curry at the two, and Thompson at the three. This allows the Warriors’ shooters to get open and get their shots up. Combine Jack’s ability to score, pass, rebound with his ability to facilitate and make his teammates better, he is a true play maker and a weapon off the bench.
I couldn’t see the Warriors being nearly as good as they have been without Jack on the team. I love the youngster Curry and everything he has done so far, but I’m still skeptical about his ability to facilitate. With Jack on the team, Curry isn’t asked to facilitate too much. Instead—and probably for the better– he is asked to score the ball.
It’s simple, Jack is a very dynamic player, and his presence creates favorable situations for his teammates. Better yet, with seven years of NBA experience, he can be a mentor to this young Warrior basketball team.