Dec 6, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) controls the ball during the first quarter as Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Small Forward: Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes vs. Trevor Ariza, Alonzo Gee
The Warriors again have the Rockets out-classed at small forward. Iguodala has been an All-NBA caliber type defender over his career, and he’s a versatile offensive player whose only weakness is free throws.
Trevor Ariza is a lot like Iggy, as another capable defender whose greatest asset is not his scoring. Both will more or less cancel one another out, but the Warriors really get the step here because Barnes is one of the better sixth men in the league. He’s athletic, a good defender, and may eventually be an All-Star caliber small forward.
Expect Barnes to take a lot of Iguodala’s minutes this season, and he could even end up being the starter as Kerr hinted. Draymond Green sees a lot of minutes at the 3-spot, too, and he brings an added dimension with his toughness and rebounding ability.
The Warriors have three solid options here, while the Rockets really only have one. Alonzo Gee has proved to be little more than a journeyman in his career and losing out on Francisco Garcia may bite the Rockets in the rear.