Mar 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) drives in against the New York Knicks during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 92-63. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes 'Definitely' Looking to Establish Defensive Presence

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) reacts during the third quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight in the showcase for Team USA, Harrison Barnes told reporters that he was going to try and establish a defensive mark. This is indeed what the Warrior fans want to see. Defense, as many say, is the key to winning championships, and the Warriors need all the great perimeter defenders that they can get.

Acquiring Andre Iguodala was great for the Warriors, but if Barnes can turn into an elite defender just like Klay Thompson did, the Warriors will be much better off guarding small forwards, and even point guards. At some points in the playoffs, Barnes was stuck on Tony Parker, and most of the time, he didn’t do so poorly.

Barnes is the the guy that came into the league underestimating himself. Before the draft, he told reporters that he wasn’t a high riser. After a successful rookie season which featured posterizing dunks, I’m sure that he has changed his mind about that.

Every young player in the NBA has something to work. For Thompson, he was only an adequate defender and superb shooter. Now, however, he’s an even better shooter and a terrific defender. The thing that he’s looking to work on now is his ability to attack the basket. For Barnes, he would need to work on his defensive game.

These two young guys have really come along, and we’re all going to be looking forward to watching them play in the showcase tonight in Las Vegas at 6 PM (PT) tonight.

Tags: Golden State Warriors Harrison Barnes Klay Thompson

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