Monday, April 29, 2013
Barnes' defense a concern?
By Joe Kaiser
Harrison Barnes drew plenty of praise for the way he stepped up to help lead Golden State to wins over Denver in Games 2 and 3 of the Warriors' opening round playoff series, and deservedly so; Barnes shined at the biggest moments, splashed home jumpers from the perimeter with regularity and attacked the rim with one of the best dunks of the entire season.
However, defense was a big concern with Barnes entering the season, and the advanced stats show it is an area the rookie out of North Carolina still needs to improve.
Barnes admits that defense has been a point of emphasis from day one in the NBA.
"It's funny, when I got drafted, (Warriors assistant Darren Erman) told me I was the worst rated defender to come out of the draft," Barnes said in Saturday's Mercury News. "The first very day I came out, I was dribbling the ball and shooting and he said, 'Put the ball down. We're going to work on defense. You're a terrible defender, and we're going to make you better.'"
According Synergy Sports Technology, Barnes has plenty of work remaining on the defensive side of the ball. Barnes allowed opponents to score 0.944 points per play this season, which ranked No. 421 out of 446 players in the league. Defending the spot up and post up shots were two of the most troublesome areas for the rookie, while Barnes' defense ranked best against isolation plays.