MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
David Lee. Lee gained the respect of Warriors fans by gutting out 57 of the team's first 58 games before succumbing to torn abdominal and abductor muscles that required surgery. His 20.1 scoring average, coupled with the arrival of Andrew Bogut, gives Warriors fans hope the franchise will have a feared low-post offensive presence (or two) for years to come.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
Andris Biedrins. You could understand the thinking: The last thing general manager Larry Riley wanted to tell new boss Joe Lacob on the eve of the season was that he'd have to write a $27 million check to Biedrins to correct an organizational mistake. So the Warriors opted not to use the amnesty buyout on what turned out to be arguably the NBA's most useless center in 2011-12 (a season total of 79 points and 176 rebounds despite 35 starts). In the end, not writing the check was as big a mistake as re-signing the big guy in the first place.
Having used an in-season trade to deal with their two glaring weaknesses (size up front and in the backcourt), there's no doubt the Warriors' most critical need moving forward is good health. Their top three players (Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Stephen Curry) are all coming off season-ending surgeries. If they come back healthy, as expected, the Warriors will have relatively minor needs (mostly depth) for a club that lost almost twice as many games (43) as it won (23) the previous season.
FREE AGENT FOCUS
The Warriors brought in swingmen Brandon Rush and Dominic McGuire on one-year contracts last offseason and now wish they'd gone for multi-year deals. Their athleticism could be a key glue element next season for a team that should be strong at its extremes with point guard Stephen Curry and big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee. Rush and McGuire both embraced their backup roles in 2011-12 and no doubt will at least consider coming back. The club will have little more than the league's mid-level exception with which to pursue free agents.
--G Klay Thompson led all rookies in scoring in the month of April with an 18.6 average. He started the last 27 games following the trade that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee. In fact, the Warriors started three rookies in each of the last 19 games, four in each of the last seven and five in the finale, a first in NBA history.
--G Charles Jenkins became the first Warriors second-round pick to record consecutive double-figure assist games in his rookie season when he notched 11 against the Lakers on April 18 and 10 against the Mavericks two nights later. No other 2011 second-round pick accomplished the back-to-back feat.
--F David Lee finished the season as the Warriors' leading scorer (20.1) and rebounder (9.6), becoming the first in franchise history to average at least 20 and nine since Nate Thurmond reached those heights 40 years ago.
--F David Lee (torn abdominal and abductor muscles) underwent surgery April 25 and is expected to be ready for training camp.
--G Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) underwent arthroscopic surgery April 26 and is expected to be ready for training camp.
--C Andrew Bogut (broken left ankle) underwent arthroscopic surgery April 27 and is expected to be ready for training camp.
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