Golden State Warriors’ forward Harrison Barnes has been named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, receiving 18 first-team votes. He will join Portland’s Damian Lillard , Washington’s Bradley Beal, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and Cleveland’s Dion Waiters on the team.
Barnes, the seventh overall selection out of North Carolina, averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing in all but one regular season game.
He was the Warriors’ starting small forward and filled that role extremely well for a rookie. Barnes has a world of potential ahead of him that was showcased during his 26-point effort against the Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday.
His highlight of the season might also be the dunk of the year in the NBA, as he posterized Nikola Pekovic of the Timberwolves in November:
Former staff writer Sanjit Rai quipped the following on Barnes’ impact on the future of the Warriors:
The Warriors have tried to build height for several years now, but power forward David Lee, who stands at 6’9, is sometimes put in to play center, suggesting that the Warriors aren’t a tall team. Barnes’ height is an impressive gain for the 2012 squad. The Warriors’ lack of height makes it quite difficult to play defense against bigger teams. Having men defending players more their own size will improve Golden State’s defense automatically, allowing them to have more energy to run the ball as they love to do. Barnes will be crucial to this phenomenon.
One thing’s for certain: the Warriors and their fans are sure glad that they “tanked” the last portion of the 2011-2012 season, allowing them to keep their draft pick to select Barnes, who has shown that he is among the top young players in the NBA