Golden State Warriors: Who Are Their X-Factors in the Playoffs?


With the playoffs around the corner, the Golden State Warriors are glad to finally be making an appearance for the first time since 2007. It’s been an incredible year with many ups and downs, but the time is finally here for the Dubs. Unfortunately for them, they’ve dropped to 7th place, and are still fighting for playoff positioning. They many be able to get a chance to rest their studs on the final night of the season, because that could be a key night for them.

Nevertheless, they’ve made the playoffs, and whoever they play, they will make some noise. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Spurs, Nuggets, Thunder, or even the Clippers. The Warriors are going to get all their home wins, and may even be able to pull off an upset on the road and in the series. In order to do this, however, they’re going to need production from two players that don’t produce each single game. Any guesses? That’s right, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson.

April 09, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) controls the ball ahead of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour (13) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-89 to clinch a playoff berth. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson:

Thompson is becoming a streaky player, and that’s not the thing that the Dubs are looking for. He usually scores in the double-digits, but that’s because his shooting percentage is incredibly low (he takes a lot of shots to make up for this), and he’s not having a very good year. You could say it’s a sophomore slump, but he may have to do a bit more to get out of it. Especially because he’s averaging 4 points per game higher than last year. Strange, isn’t it? Streaky players make both coaches nervous, if you get what I’m saying.

Let’s put it in these terms. Would you rather have a very inconsistent but deadly scorer like Michael Beasley, or a consistent, on-top-of-things guy like DeMar DeRozan. I know, I could have used anyone else, but DeRozan has been good this season. The main reason behind Thompson’s streaky play is the fact that he shoots the ball too much. If he would learn to put the ball on the floor more, good things will happen for the Warriors. When he is one of the primary offensive guys, he scores 20+ points. When he does that, the Warriors win the game. Simple.

Harrison Barnes:

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

Putting pressure on a rookie almost never works out, unless he’s someone like Damian Lillard. Barnes is good, but not extremely good; yet. He’s almost unstoppable off the dribble, and can hit a jump-shot if given it. He may not have a high defensive basketball IQ, but he knows where to be on offense. He now knows that his primary role with the Warriors is to take the ball to the rack, rather than launching a three.

Here are some of the stats. When Barnes scores double digits, the Warriors are 24-8. I don’t know about you, but I like those odds for the Warriors. When he is a primary scorer, or at least a decent contributor, the Warriors are a better team. I’d take 5 guys scoring in double digits over one guy (Stephen Curry) scoring 40 points every single time.