Chris Webber is a Warrior again, and everyone seems to have an opinion about it.
But there are so many facets to Webber returning, it’s impossible to boil the move down to simply good or bad, smart or dumb, or makes sense or doesn’t.
There are reasons to be skeptical; there are reasons to be hopeful.
Let’s throw around some thoughts:
» To me, the “Webber can’t keep up with the Warriors’ pace” concern is bogus. Webber doesn’t have to keep up. The Warriors don’t need Webber to finish on the break, they need him to start it.
In a perfect world, Webber gets a defensive rebound, outlets to Baron Davis and two seconds later Monta Ellis dunks. In a less-than-perfect world, Webber gets a defensive rebound, outlets to Davisand the Warriors don’t have a break.
Well, then, after about eight seconds, here comes Webber loping up the court, ready to catch the ball at the top of the key and initiate the offense or secondary break. If Webber played in the low post, which he doesn’t do much of anymore, then running the floor would be an issue.
» Nelson has been seeking another playmaker since the beginning of the season, and Webber’s passing ability should help the Warriors in their halfcourt sets. The Warriors are forced to take a lot of 3-pointers because they don’t have anything better going on. Webber can make something happen.
Also, don’t underestimate that the Warriors just got a lot smarter. Webber is a great decision maker and is clever enough to know how to help at the defensive end in a team sense. Anyone who has watched the Warriors knows they could use a boost in the IQ department.
» Why didn’t Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars want Webber back? It’s a legitimate question. Dumars is widely considered one of the most astute executives in the NBA. So how come Dumars wanted no part of C-Webb returning? Maybe Dumars didn’t think Webber could play anymore. That will become clear in the next few months.
» Conventional wisdom suggests that Webber will play a lot of backup center and his minutes will be limited. Not so fast. Webber played 30 minutes per gamelast season for the Pistons, and a dropoff into the 15-minute per night range might not cut it for him.
» There is also another very real danger that Nelson, with his new basketball plaything, might squeeze as many minutes out of Webber as humanly possible.
This likely won’t be good for Webber or the teammates he’s taking minutes from.
» If nothing else, Webber’s acquisition, however, does give Nelson another option. When center Andris Biedrins gets into foul trouble, Nelson can only go small because he doesn’t trust Patrick O’Bryant or Kosta Perovic. Nelson does trust Webber. At least so far.