Tuesday, January 29, 2008

C-Webb to the Warriors


For my first post, I thought I would address Chris Webber's imminent signing with the Golden St. Warriors. Beyond the fact that Webber and Nelson had a tenuous, to say the least, relationship in the past, the former Michigan forward simply cannot run anymore. In an offense like NellieBall, can Webber serve a purpose? Or, is he even needed? Let's take a look at some stats to find out.

After never posting a FG% below 46% in his first 10 seasons, Webber hasn't shot better than 45% in his past 4 years. His PPG also bottomed out at 11.2 in '07. He has basically been reduced to a spot-up jump shooter with little ability to create his own shot or drive to the basket. And, really, don't the Warriors already have one of those in Austin Croshere. Croshere is just as injury-prone and gimpy as Webber with the same mid-range jumper. Webber obviously has superior passing and rebounding, but is that edge enough to risk messing with the Warriors' fast-paced style?

There's no way around it, Webber cannot run in the Warriors' current offense. It isn't like Nelson can sub on the fly like hockey and throw C-Webb into the game when the fastbreak fails. The Warriors offense, built around quick jump shots and transition offense, might work if C-Webb could sit in the frontcourt all game long. But, while Monta Ellis and Baron Davis are speeding downcourt and dishing to Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington, Webber will be left in the dust at halfcourt still catching his breath.

In reality, Golden St.'s offense needs no help. It's averaging 110 pts/100 possessions and has an EFG% of 51%, which takes 3-pointers and free throws into account. The problem is its defense.
It's giving up 109 pts/100 poss. and allowing an EFG% of 50%. According to 82games.com, the Warriors have given up the highest PER (Player Efficiency Rating) from opponents' C and PF positions. Webber can never solve these problems. These days, he'd have a hard time defending my grandma, let alone Amare Stoudemire or Tim Duncan.
While Webber may be a flashy name, he won't elevate Golden St. past the Lakers in the Pacific. What the Warriors really need is for their younger bigs, Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright, to step up their defense. Unfortunately, their lack of size and Webber's lack of speed will ultimately hurt Golden St. in the end.

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