Lee out for remainder of series, Landry likely to see spike in minutes

According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, Warriors forward David Lee will miss the remainder of the season with a torn right hip flexor. While nobody likes to see players seriously injured, it’s difficult to ignore how beneficial this is to the Nuggets’ chances of defeating the Warriors in the first round.

For the season Lee is averaging 18.5 points (52 percent from the field), 11 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Against the Nuggets in the regular season he averaged 23 points (56 percent from the field), 10 rebounds and five assists per game. With Kenneth Faried on the floor, outside of rebounds, David Lee’s numbers were up across the board in contrast with his regular season averages. Conversely, Faried’s numbers were down when Lee was on the floor. In short: Lee was a tough matchup for Faried. This was evident throughout each game when the Warriors and Nuggets met in the regular season. Faried typically struggles against crafty, offensive-minded power forwards like Lee on defense and can become passive on offense as a result.

But while the player most likely to replace Lee in the lineup isn’t much different (Carl Landry), the stats say Faried fares better against him than Lee. In the 80 minutes Landry has been on the floor with Faried this season, his averages across the board are down except for assists and personal fouls. Unfortunately, Faried’s offensive stats are also down with Landy on the floor. The good thing for Faried is that Landry is nowhere near the player Lee is. With Lee, Faried simply could not afford to be taken advantage of time and time again in the post. Though talented, Landry will not be able to expose Faried with the frequency Lee could.

Without Lee, the Warriors chances of defeating the Nuggets seem ostensibly bleak. Lee accounted for nearly 25 percent of his team’s offensive production in the regular season, nearly one third of its rebounds and 20 percent of its assists. He led the league in double-doubles and made the All-Star team for the second time in his eight-year career. Though the Warriors may rally behind Lee’s absence and coalesce even more, it’s extremely difficult to imagine them overcoming the deficit already bestowed upon them.

Follow me on Twitter

The following two tabs change content below.

Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • googergieger

    Only way Golden State can beat Denver, is if Denver lets them. They can’t go into the game over confident and expecting the other team to lay down. They have to beat the team. Dominate them. Play the best basketball they can play and put the world on notice. Cause Golden State has nothing to lose. More so than before. Going to give us everything they got and chances are the refs are going to be in their corner again. Looking forward to Tuesday to see what teams show up.

    • heykyleinsf

      I totally agree..
      Fortunately though…
      the last game put a scare in to them.
      I am pretty sure they are awake now.

      And since nothing else seems to get
      us attention and credit..
      Nuggets vs Warriors was by far the
      best game of the eight playoff games..
      the majority which were blowouts..

      The next closest game was the
      Knicks vs Celtics.. Knicks by 7.
      Other Sat games were Nets by 17,
      Clippers by 19 and today…
      Pacers by 17, Spurs by 12,
      Heat by 23 and the Thunder by 29.

      We have.. by far.. the most exciting series.
      Which will mean.. we should be the most
      watched series.. all other things being equal.

      We’re home.. we’ve got Manimal back..
      they lost an all-star forward.. and the jitters
      from the first game are over.

      I think we’re focused and I think we will take
      care of business.

  • Aaron

    Well, the problem here is. . . as far as traditional post ups. . Landry isn’t too far of a drop off from Lee (yes, in all other categories, Lee is much, much better). He will get the better of Faried on offense.

    And, JVMG owns Landry and has all year. I wonder if we’ll get that matchup much now since Landry starts. If GS decides to go real small and play D. Green off the bench, I wonder how much K2 and JVMG are going to play the rest of the series? Bogut can’t play the whole game and Ezili is too weak to be given many minutes. I wonder if we’ll see a resurrection of Andres Bedriens? We might see more of Fournier and Chandler etc, if both coaches just decide on small ball.

    All that said, Faried’s rebounding numbers should go up, and Faried should have some more success on offense too.

    Bottom line, win tuesday, win one in GS and close it out in game 5 at home.

  • Jeff

    Such a bummer man. I wish teams could face eac other full strength in the playoffs, there has been way too many injuries this year. This series would be more fun with Gallo and Lee.

    • Aaron

      Totally agree. . Gallo averaged more than 20 against GS this year. They have no answers for him, and that’s one reason why we struggled the other day. They do have some answers for Ty’s penetration and other Nug’s staple plays. We’ll need to find other ways on Tuesday. I’m sure we will. WC needs to find his shot for one thing.

      But, yeah, I’d like to see the full squad for both teams.

  • eddi0

    Definitely hope David Lee returns to health, post our series of course, but Carl Landry is no slouch. Not a great defender or rebounder but his post-move arsenal is top notch. I have seen him play as a Rocket and as a King as well as a warrior and he is old school in truest sense of the word. He is a short PF with not much lift so he relies on his pump fakes and up-and-unders (think: a much smaller Kevin McHale). The key is to play him straight up, stay on your feet, (Javale, don’t go for the pump fakes and try to block it in the crowd) force him to shoot over you. That’s it, plain and simple, stay on your feet, don’t go for the block and you can contain him. With that said, this series is over.

  • ny nugs fan

    i actually think nothing changes for this series

    this is still a dangerous team, maybe even more dangerous now with something to prove

    plus, we still haven’t shown the ability to stop klay thompson who is more of an issue… and we still suck from the free throw line

    • Jeff

      You think they might be more dangerous without Lee? Respectfully and completely disagree! He was a monster this year. Their front court is pretty weak without him. It is a huge blow to the warriors.

    • dynamo.joe

      Naw, Landry and Biedrins are nearly as good as Lee. Granted Biedrins absolutely sucks on O, but Lee sucks on D. It balances out.

      But if this means more minutes for Festus, he will be over-matched. And it probably will mean just that, Jackson can’t seem to get past the fact that Biedrins is a zero on Offense. Take a note from PJ Carlisimo, Mark. Reggie Evans can’t play a lick of offense either, but he is still a net positive player.

      • bobby

        Biedrins nearly as good as Lee? That’s one of the most misguided (read: just completely incorrect) pieces of basketball analysis I’ve ever seen…

        • dynamo.joe

          Then I guess you don’t know analysis. Lee is shit on D. Biedrins is shit on O. The point differential wouldn’t change significantly if you substituted one for the other.

          Unfortunately most people just look at the offense and say one guy scores more points, so he is better.

          Biedrins gets more rebounds (marginally), he gets way less TO, he is a really good shot blocker (Lee is horrible). Biedrins gets more steals. He doesn’t score but he doesn’t use up possessions trying to score.

          To properly evaluate a players offense you have to look not just at points scored, but how many shots they take to get them. Lee 24.1-19.2 = 4.9. Biedrins 2.3-2 = 0.3. The extra offense that David Lee gets you is only 4.6 points. Is 4.6 points worth 4 blocks, .5 steals, .2 rebounds. Sure, but only just barely.

          You know who gets all those shots that Biedrins isn’t taking? Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Landry. You know who are more efficient scorers than David Lee? Steph Curry and Karl Landry.

          Replacing Lee with Biedrins is basically a wash.

          • Jeff

            With Biedrins on the floor the Nuggets can either constantly help off of him to guard shooters or constantly foul him. He is not that good of a defender, he might be able to block a Lawson drive or 2 but he is easily thwarted with midrange game and ball movement. The Biedrins era is over in Oakland, he did not work. No way you can compare him to David Lee.

          • bobby

            I just don’t understand how you can even say something like “Biedrins for Lee is a wash”…have you seen the guy play? He’s an absolute stiff on offense, and it’s not even debatable, in my mind, that his defensive impact doesn’t come close to touching Lee’s offensive impact. I also think it’s debatable that Lee is as bad defensively as Biedrins is offensively.

            How bout this: with Biedrins on the court, the Warriors’ defensive efficiency actually gets worse by two-tenths of a point per hundred possessions, while their offensive efficiency gets worse by — wait for it — 7.8 points per hundred possessions. His being on the floor lowers the Warriors eFG% 3.1%, and raises the opponent’s by the same amount. The Warriors’ offensive, defensive, and (not surprisingly) total rebounding rates decrease when he is on the floor. His total rebounding rate is barely higher than Lee’s…I just don’t see what you’re seeing, and nobody else seems to either…

            • dynamo.joe

              Even by your numbers, substituting Andris-shouldn’t-be-in-the-league-Biedrins for David-greatest-PF-in-NBA-history-Lee results in a 5 to 6 point deficit. Wow. You totally sold me. They are done, cooked. They should forfeit rather than embarrass themselves by showing up.

              • bobby

                When did I write the Warriors off? No need to put words in my mouth. I’m just making the observation that a spot center whose confidence is, according to many in the media and around him, completely shot, is clearly a step down from an all-star power forward. It’s asinine to argue otherwise. And even if your 5-6 points isn’t an underestimate, which I think it is, YES that is a big difference when your average margin-of-victory is less than 1 point. And it’s not as if his defense magically makes up for those points; remember that the Warriors are -6.3 in points per hundred possessions with him on the floor. What is the argument you’re trying to make here??

              • dynamo.joe

                My argument is that Steph Curry has to make 2 shots to make up for the loss of Lee and insertion of Biedrins.

                That 6 points came from your numbers. My numbers had it at just over 4 pts (3pts factoring in playing time). 8 pt differential per 100 possessions (your number). 100 possessions that’s the average for an NBA game. David Lee plays 3/4 of the game. Put that all together and Biedrins for Lee is a 6 pt deficit the warriors need to overcome.

                So I said 3pts or 1 shot, basically a wash. You say 6pts or 2 shots. My conclusion is that is still basically a wash, well within the game to game variability for any player.

                People are acting like losing David Lee is an irreparable hole in the Warriors line up. They look at ppg and say Lee scores 18, Biedrins scores 2, the warriors can’t make up 16 points. But you and I have just shown the difference isn’t nearly so large, 3 to 6 depending on whose numbers you believe.

          • bobby

            And are you really trotting out fewer TO’s as part of Biedrins’ appeal? He’s so goddamned awful that they completely hide him on offense, thus his USG% is an absolutely measly 3.71%….it’d be absolutely appalling, if it’s even mathematically possible, if he got more TO’s than Lee (USG% of 23.57%). In a similar vein, you can’t just say “Biedrins gives up his shots to more efficient scorers”…he very well may, but you’re completely ignoring that the Nuggets will be defending 5 on 4 with him on the floor, pretty much negating all that efficient scoring he apparently facilitates (lmao).

            • dynamo.joe

              You are right, Biedrins can’t make uncontested layups. So when he sets up under the basket they should leave him to double Curry.

              • bobby

                Talk about a strawman, lol yes I’m advocating leaving uncontested layups open…are you serious?? Don’t tell me I don’t know analysis if you can’t cede that defenses in the NBA aim to take advantage of shitty offensive players by either a) hiding their shitty defensive players on those guys, or b) vigorously helping away from those guys, and trusting that they aren’t skilled enough to punish them for it…I really don’t know what to say if you think that Biedrins is skilled enough to do just that, yet question MY basketball analysis skills. The guy takes 1.5 FGA per 36 minutes with a TS% and eFG% both well under 50%…with an assist rate of 3.7% to Lee’s 16.5%….a turnover% of 34.4% to Lee’s 13.7%…Lee can make those plays, Biedrins cannot.

              • Jeff

                Nobody is saying the Warriors should give up and that Biedrins can’t make an uncontested layup. And no one is saying David Lee is the great power forward in the league. All I’m saying is that Lee is much better than Biedrins, and losing Lee is a big loss for the Warriors. Giving Biedrins Lee’s minutes is definitely not a wash.

  • John in LA

    This is about as “fair” as a Playoff matchup can get… we lose our second best player(Gallo) they lose their second best player(Lee)

    I think without Lee… all of the rebounding pressure is now on Bogut, and Faried will be able to just outmaneuver the big guy. Landry is a good player, but not an All Star level guy like Lee.

    I think full strength we can beat anybody. Without Gallo, we are capable of beating anybody with the exception of Miami.

  • heykyleinsf

    One thing that may have backfired at this point..
    against the Warriors.

    Coach Jackson told them to the effect of..
    “you have to battle harder or you won’t win
    this game”.
    They did. And came up short.
    It was a psychic gamble..
    that pays off.. that means incredible momentum..
    if you buy that psychic component..
    But it didn’t work.

    That’s what I am saying..
    he played the card and lost.

    I hope someone else knows what I am talking about,
    and may be able to find the actual words he used.

    But the effect was.. very much a do or die win.
    And they died..
    there may be some residual to that..
    we will see what he can do..
    after proverbially shooting his wad like that.

  • googergieger

    He might have said something like, “whoever wins this game wins the series”? Or something to that affect? Around what time did he say it and I’ll try to find his exact words.

    • dynamo.joe

      I’m not sure it matters. That might have been his ace-in-the-hole, but Lee going down makes other ploys available.

      Win one for the Gipper sort of thing.

    • heykyleinsf

      thanks!

      It was early like before the 2nd quarter..
      the female announcer was talking about it.

      BTW.. I usually can’t stand ESPN calling games..
      IDK who was announcing this time..

      but thankfully the usual clowns were gone.
      These guys actually did a good job I thought
      Shocking for ESPN

      • toluenehawk

        They sounded like golf announcers

        • Ryan

          Lol. Agreed. They knew nothing about the Nuggets either…

          • heykyleinsf

            I disagree.

            You clearly missed the regular season coverage.

            This was an upgrade by a longshot.

            They were at least neutral.

            In the regular season.. they hated on us so bad,
            I had to turn the volume off.

            The female announcer was good.. you guys are
            being silly haters.. She said some really on-target
            things.. thus what I brought up about this in the first place.

      • googergieger

        Haven’t heard Jackson or the announcers talk about anything he said in the first quarter so far. You sure it happened in the first quarter? In the second quarter Doris said something about the guys said Jackson is the type of coach you don’t want to disappoint.

        Ah right in the third quarter now. “We are soft. We don’t want it right now. This is embarrassing. We have worked too hard to play like this. Go get it.”

        • heykyleinsf

          BINGO.

          Thank you!
          And didn’t want you to work that hard for it.

          Thank you…

          • heykyleinsf

            ON 2nd thought..
            I’m sorry.. no.

            There was something more of an ultimatum.

            I swear I didn’t hallucinate this..
            It was more along the lines of..
            not hustling for loose balls..
            in the first part of the sentence,
            then if they don’t win the game
            they wouldn’t have a chance..
            totally paraphrasing..
            what you dug up was close but
            it was more along the lines of
            that game being a do or die.

            • heykyleinsf

              at any rate.. thanks!!!

              Please don’t break your back on this for me though..
              from now on I will write this stuff down
              instead of being so nebulous about it.

            • googergieger

              All I found in regards to Jackson. Besides him Tyler Perrying up his church/team, anyways.

  • MMZ

    Disappointing for the series… wanted to see the Nugs get GS’s best shot and still work ‘em in 5 or 6. I figured if they were going to go WCF and beyond they could definitely win this series even without Gallo and GS at full strength. Like others have said I just hope they don’t let down as is the tendency when you suddenly see yourself with this kind of advantage. Crush the life out of these guys in a sweep like they should and this can still be a big momentum series for us en route to those damned Spurs.

  • steve

    I would like to see the nugs come out and beat them handily tonight. If we squeak one out again, the chances of beating them on the road will be slim. I dont want to mess around in the 1st rd. With Lee out, we should take care of this in 5.