Everyone knows that the Golden State Warriors are known for their well-rounded roster. Their team mantra “Strength in Numbers” refers to the fact that they aren’t just two or three players deep. From top to bottom, all of the players get involved and contribute to the success of the team. Each one brings unique attributes to the floor. But which player is considered the most important to team success?
Power Ranking Criteria
When ranking which of the starting five players was most valuable to the success of the team, traditional statistics, a player’s plus/minus, intangibles and the eye test were used. While there is a case to be made that any of these players are the reason why the Warriors are so dominant, there can only be one power ranking.
The Golden State Warriors Player Power Rankings
Up and Coming: Jordan Bell
After a successful summer league, recording a 5×5, Jordan Bell is showing that he could be a superstar of the feature. Already making noise with some plays in the regular season, Bell is proving he is here to stay.
9. Nick Young
The Warriors shocked many teams by getting better in the 2017 off-season, signing veteran point guard Nick Young.
Young is a tremendous three-point shooter and worked hard in 2016 to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
While some were skeptic about Young’s past play and “Swaggy P” persona, Young proved his worth in the first game of the season, shooting 6-7 from the three-point line and scoring 23 points in his debut.
The Warriors are expecting big minutes from him off the bench this season.
8. Patrick McCaw
In his rookie year, Patrick McCaw averaged
- .784 free-throw percentage
- .529 field-goal percentage
While most of his minutes in the regular season came in garbage time, Steve Kerr trusted the rookie in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
McCaw played 12 critical minutes in the game, stepping onto the court with Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala.
2017 could be a breakout season for the young star.
7. Zaza Pachulia
In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Pachulia averaged
- 18 minutes per game
- 4.4 field goal attempts per game
- 6.1 points per game
- 5.9 total rebounds per game
These stats are not surprising as the Warriors’ offensive scheme is set up for pacing and spacing. Each player quickly reacts to the ball and makes sure that it is distributed all across the floor. Steve Kerr stays away from posting up the ball down low and instead focuses on the perimeter.
The Warriors could plug any of the other 29 big men and still see the overall same result.
6. Shaun Livingston
One of the most beloved Warriors, Livingston is just a great all-around player. Knowing when to come off the bench and step up his game, he never disappoints.
In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Livingston averaged:
- 17 minutes per game
- .547 field-goal percentage
- 5.1 points per game
He is a proven leader on and off the court. As one of the main leaders on the second unit, Livingston makes everyone around him better. Having to come in and play for Steph Curry is no easy task, Livingston gets it done.
5. Andre Iguodala
Although he comes off the bench for the Warriors, Iguodala should easily be starting in over 25 different teams’ line-ups. However, Iguodala has accepted his role coming off the bench, leading the second unit, and being ready to guard almost anyone.
In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Iguodala averaged:
- 26.3 minutes per game
- 7.4 points per game
- 3.4 assists per game
The biggest upside to Iguodala is his veteran leadership and confidence when asserted into Kerr’s “death” line-up. His talents allow the Warriors the flexibility to play small ball and run the floor, usually with a victory.
4. Draymond Green
You know you have an amazing lineup when the current Defensive Player of the Year is only at number four in the power rankings.
Draymond’s defensive skills and leadership on and off the court brings his game above many. He is relentless and puts in the work needed to achieve such incredible results.
In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Green averaged:
- 10.2 points per game
- 7 assists per game
- 7.9 total rebounds per game
- .418 field goal percentage
While on the court for the Dubs, Draymond had a 10.8 plus/minus ranking. The second best on the team.
The plus/minus statistic is defined by SportingCharts.com as,”the measure of the point differential for the team when the player is on the court, which is the difference in the points scored for and the points scored against.”
This just proves that Draymond majorly impacts how the team performs as a whole on the court.
3. Klay Thompson
A fan favorite and the other splash brother, Klay Thompson makes waves on the court.
In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Thompson averaged:
- 22.3 points per game
- 3.4 three-point field goals a game
- .853 free-throw percentage
Although his shooting goes hot and cold, Klay makes his ability to guard any defender into his biggest strength.
In the 2017 NBA Finals, Thompson guarded Kyrie Irving and shut him down when necessary.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Warriors had a defensive ranking of 108.8 with Thompson on the floor compared to team-high 120.7 with him off the floor. Additionally, his defensive statistics throughout the finals were basically equivalent with Draymond Green’s.
2. Kevin Durant
It did not take long for Kevin Durant to make himself a force to be reckoned with in Oakland.
After taking the first few months of the season to gel with the team, Durant found his stride in the postseason.
In the NBA Finals, Durant averaged 32.5 points a game while making 12 field goals a game. This offensive efficiency is almost unheard of.
His regular season numbers are quite impressive too.
In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Durant averaged:
- 25.1 points per game
- 8.3 total rebounds per game
- .537 field goal percentage
His ability to score in key moments and involve those around him, allowing for the team to be successful.