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NBA Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors: A Look Forward to Harrison Barnes’ Sophomore Season

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of North Carolina as a rookie, it wasn’t quite clear what kind of pro Harrison Barnes could be. The Golden State Warriors quickly found out they had a future star.

As a rookie, Barnes was given just over 25 minutes per game. His stats would not blow anyone away, as he only averaged 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and just over an assist per game. However, stats aren’t too telling when it comes to his value with the team.

At points he would be the highlight of the night, throwing down monster dunks in the lane. There is no doubt that the kid is a momentum-shifter. His dunk on Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic could arguably be given the title as dunk of the year for this past season.

Barnes also possesses an admirable toughness to him. Earlier in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, you may remember him suffering a cut above his eye right before halftime against the San Antonio Spurs in game six. After spending some time in the locker room, Barnes returned to the game with six stitches to sew up the laceration.

Going into his sophomore year, Barnes will most likely receive a few more minutes here and there partly due to the fact that backup guard Jarrett Jack will not likely return – thus opening up minutes on the wing for Barnes. Giving him more playing time should only help him improve offensively – not that he is poor in this area by any means.

Barnes shot just short of 44 percent from the field as a rookie, but with the ability to attack the hoop like he can this number should rise if he asserts himself more frequently next year.

After an unbelievable run in the 2012-2013 season, the Warriors look to build on their success going into the offseason. Barnes will be an integral part of this team’s achievements in the future as they continue to improve as a unit. Head coach Mark Jackson has a phenomenal shooting back court and an underrated front court, but Barnes will be that ‘glue’ guy that holds them all together as they make another run at a title in 2014.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.