Heading into training camp, the Golden State Warriors have only one battle for a starting spot and that’s at small forward. The two competing will be Brandon Rush and rookie Harrison Barnes. The only question that remains is: who will Mark Jackson choose, the veteran or the youngster?
Barnes is a scorer and at the University of North Carolina, he averaged 16.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, on 43 percent shooting, 34.9 percent from three and 73.4 percent from the free throw line. During the Summer League he averaged 16.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, on 39.5 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from beyond the arc and 72.7 percent on free throws.
With Rush coming off a career season, his solid defense and experience mean he likely will be the one getting the starting nod. Barnes not starting right away will allow for him to become the primary scorer coming off the bench. He will rebound and will become a more efficient player, a better passer and ball handler and improve on defense.
He will join Jarrett Jack, Richard Jefferson, Carl Landry and Andris Biedrins coming off the bench and if he starts, he will join Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut. Even if Barnes doesn’t start, he will get minutes, so that is not a concern.
What answer will Jackson go with? Does he prefer experience over youth? Will he rather have a complementary scorer in the starting lineup or one who is a primary scorer?
There’s great arguments for either one to start, so there’s truly no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding who will be the starter.
Expect from Barnes in 24-30 minutes per game, 16-18 points, 5-7 rebounds, 2-3 assists, 1 steal, on 42-46 percent from the field, 38-40 percent from the three-point line and 75-78 percent from the free throw line.
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