Scott Machado

Two Players Who Will Have Breakout Seasons For The Warriors

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This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors have some great, young talent on their team. Stephen Curry, arguably, became one of the best players in the league last season. Klay Thompson has proven that he’s one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Harrison Barnes showed off his incredible explosiveness and athleticism throughout the year, and Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli have shown a lot of valuable skills as well. Curry has already ascended into superstar territory, and Thompson has shown that he’s more of an all-around player than many people assumed. With that said, of the Warriors’ young core, here are two players who will have breakout seasons next season:

1. Harrison Barnes

For much of the season, Barnes became the X-factor for the Warriors, meaning that if he played well, the Warriors would win most of the time. He also showed that he can come up big in the biggest moments. In the postseason, Barnes elevated his game to a whole new level. After averaging 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in the regular season, Barnes averaged 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 12 postseason games. He also shot a higher percentage from the field, from three-point range, and at the free-throw line.

Barnes has so much potential, and he’s so fun to watch, mostly because of all of his vicious dunks. He has shown flashes of brilliance that leads many Warriors fans to believe that he could one day become one of the best small forwards in the NBA. He also has this veteran-like demeanor that makes fans believe that he’s going to continue to work as hard as he can to get better and help the team. If Barnes continues to stay aggressive on offense, shoot efficiently, and learn to defend more consistently, he will have a huge breakout season for the Warriors next season.

2. Kent Bazemore

Bazemore might not have a “breakout” season in the same way that Barnes might, but he certainly has the potential to become a key contributor to the Warriors next season. Bazemore will have a huge opportunity in the upcoming Las Vegas NBA Summer League to prove to the Warriors that he can become a valuable part of the regular rotation. Bazemore is known for his defensive ability. He can block shots, get steals, and guard point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards. He needs to prove that he can become more of a scorer though.

If the Warriors aren’t able to re-sign Jarrett Jack, Bazemore will have an even bigger opportunity. Along with Scott Machado, he will compete for backup point guard minutes. It’s likely that he could take over the majority of the minutes that Jack used to play though because of his ability to play both the point guard and shooting guard positions. Bazemore needs to work on his shooting, but he doesn’t need to average 15 points per game, especially with Brandon Rush coming back next season. If he can contribute about eight points per game, he will, in his own terms, have a breakout season for the Warriors and become a key contributor off the bench.

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How the Warriors’ Young Players Will Benefit from Summer League

Apr 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore (20) before game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore (20) before game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors have not released their roster yet for the 2013 Las Vegas NBA Summer League, but it has been confirmed that Draymond Green, Kent Bazemore, Scott Machado, and Ognjen Kuzmic will play on the team. Festus Ezeli was supposed to play, but he is out for 6-9 months after having knee surgery recently. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will most likely not participate, because they are participating in USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas from July 22-25.

Summer League is a great opportunity for up-and-coming, young players to develop their games more, learn more about a team’s system, try to make a team, or prove why they deserve a bigger role or more playing time. Thompson and Barnes have already proven themselves and have shown why they deserve to have significant roles on the team. The other young players on this team will each benefit from Summer League in a different way.

Green played in the five Summer League games for the Warriors last year and averaged 6.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on 27.8 percent shooting from the field, 20 percent shooting from three, and 90 percent shooting from the free-throw line in 26 minutes per game. Just as the numbers indicate, Green struggled with his shot, much like he did during the regular season, but he rebounded extremely well and shot well from the free throw line. During this year’s Summer League, Green needs to work on hitting his shots more consistently and not shooting too many threes, if they’re not falling. If he works on shooting more efficiently and performs well in Summer League, he could be a valuable asset for the Warriors off the bench, given his superb defense.

Bazemore played in four Summer League games for the Warriors last year and averaged 8.5 points, 1.5 steals, and 1.8 blocks on 46.7 percent shooting from the field and 66.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line in 20.5 minutes per game. Bazemore showed off his athleticism and his stellar defense in Summer League, which ultimately earned him a roster spot with the Warriors. Bazemore has a huge opportunity in Summer League this year, since he doesn’t have to share minutes with Thompson and Barnes like last season. If Bazemore can work on handling the ball more, running an offense, and becoming more of a consistent mid-range shooter, then he could potentially have a more consistent role in the regular rotation for the Warriors next season.

Machado played in five Summer League games for the Houston Rockets last year and averaged 8.0 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.2 steals on 38.9 percent shooting from the field, 28.6 percent shooting from three, and 50 percent shooting from the free-throw line in 25.4 minutes per game. Machado signed a non-guaranteed $789,000 contract earlier this summer with the Warriors. If Jarrett Jack doesn’t re-sign with the Warriors and they don’t sign another point guard, Machado will have an opportunity to earn minutes at the backup point guard position, even though he might share those minutes with Kent Bazmore. Machado’s more of a traditional point guard than Bazemore and is a great passer, but he needs to showcase more of his skills beyond that in Summer League in order to earn his minutes next season.

The Warriors selected Kuzmic with the 52nd overall pick in last year’s draft. He is 7’1″ and is very athletic and mobile, given his size. While playing with Clinicas Rincon in 2011-2012, Kuzmic averaged 10.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 24.5 minutes per game. Kuzmic is clearly very strong defensively, is an excellent rebounder, and can block shots at an astounding rate. If he can bulk up, work on his post game, and work on a perimeter jumper, he could help the Warriors add depth to the center position that they need with Ezeli out and Andrew Bogut recovering from injuries.