Golden State Warriors: Who Steps Up at Small Forward?


Oct 7, 2012; Fresno, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) stands on the court as his team attempts a free throw against the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter at the Save Mart Center. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 110-83. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

With Brandon Rush now out for the rest of the season, the Warriors losing a very key part of their second unit, which is their secret weapon. Rush was off to a great start, and looking to throw one down on Randolph. Instead he received a hard foul and will not play in an NBA game the rest of the whole season. That’s 80 games, folks! 80 games without the energizer, the crowd pleaser, and the one who gives that little boost in the end. Does this mean the Warriors are done? Certainly not.

Last night in LA against the Clippers, the Warriors escaped with a four point win, and evened their record with the Clippers. Brandon Rush was out this game, as well as Andrew Bogut. Luckily, Harrison Barnes and Richard Jefferson both stepped up, combined for 19 points, and helped the Warriors get the win down the stretch. Despite some questionable officiating, Harrison Barnes was able to score 10 points, and Jefferson 9.

What Can RJ Do? Jefferson is a good shooter, rebounder, and smart player, as he’s been around for over 10 years. Like Jarrett Jack, Jefferson wont be the cause of many turnovers, nor will he take any bad shots. If he forsees a good situation, he will do anything to get there. That is something the Warriors need on the court, veteranship. Against the more experienced teams, Jefferson is your guy.

What Can Harrison Barnes Do? Barnes is also a good shooter, not afraid to take his shot, and has been driving to the basket more, which is exactly what Mark Jackson is looking for in his SF. He’s already played Rudy Gay and held him to 18 points, so he knows what he’s doing defensively as well. In a really tight game where the Warriors are just gassed, undermanned, and tired, Harrison Barnes is your guy.

If the situation allows, Jackson will look to these guys in the first three quarters of the game. Come crunch time, however, he has chosen a good lineup that works.

The Brandon Rush injury certainly affected the spirit of this young Warrior squad, but they’re not giving up just yet.

Projected Crunch Time Lineup:

1. Jarrett Jack

2. Stephen Curry

3. Klay Thompson

4. Carl Landry/David Lee

5. David Lee/Andrew Bogut