Many people counted the Golden State Warriors out after game one of their first round series against the Denver Nuggets when their productive power forward, David Lee, tore his hip flexor, an injury that required surgery. Ultimately Lee returned to action much sooner than expected in the postseason, but he was really just a shell of himself.
Though the Warriors have made a lot of noise this off-season, including the enormous singing of Andre Iguodala, we haven’t heard much about Lee or his progress. However, we got our first look at Lee this summer in this video of him and teammate Kent Bazemore playing in an exhibition game at New York’s famous Rucker Park:
It may just be an exhibition against sub-NBA competition, but Lee looks great right now. He’s moving quickly up and down the floor, making quick cuts and changes of direction and is elevating like normal. That’s really a good sign for the Warriors heading into this season.
Though the Warriors succeeded playing small-ball against Denver in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, there’s no telling how they would fare doing so for an entire 82-game season. Because of that the Warriors really need Lee to be healthy if they are going to meet the expectations they have coming into this season.
Obviously Stephen Curry, Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut are going to be huge for Golden State’s success, but Lee is huge in terms of their offense and their rebounding, even if he is a sub-par defender. He won’t be able to do the things he was doing at Rucker Park in the regular season, but he will still be an integral part of this talented team.