Chalk up another productive season for David Lee but how much credit does this reliable power forward get for the Golden State Warriors’ solid 38-24 record?
Over the course of his eight-year career, Lee has averaged 15.2 points and 9.8 rebounds. Lee’s 2013-2014 campaign has been nothing short of his expected numbers. In fact, he has exceeded his career average in points this year by putting up 18.6 points and is averaging a steady 9.7 rebounds as well. However, Lee’s name is rarely in headlines, which makes no sense!
Nowadays, NBA followers throw around the names of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge when mentioning the best power forwards in the game. What about Lee? Lee is not better than the previously mentioned players but he should definitely be regarded as one of the best power forwards in the NBA.
Lee’s numbers speak for his game. Lee is sixth among all power forwards in scoring this season. The big fella does a good job of using his 6-foot-9, 240-pound frame to his advantage. Lee is tied for sixth among all power forwards in rebounding. Additionally, this guy can step out and hit the mid-range shot on a consistent basis and he shoots 79.3 % from the charity stripe. Work on the glass, banging down low in the paint and a soft touch is what Lee brings to the table for the Warriors every night.
Lee is top 10 in multiple categories when in comparison to other power forwards. He’s not flashy and will not shock the crowd by storming through the lane and throwing down a thunderous windmill slam but his old fashion game is reliable and efficient. At 51.3% from the field, Lee is eighth in field goal percentage among other power forwards in the league. That aforementioned statistic of 79.3 % from the free-throw line has him as the fifth-best power forward at the line this season. Lee is an underrated passer as well because he can throw a pass or two to show off a little point guard skill. He only averages 2.2 assists but if the defense starts to double team him in the post, he can throw some pretty passes out of there. Not to mention, Lee has 31 double-doubles (fifth among power forwards) on the season.
The reason that Lee remains solid to this day is his versatility and durability. Lee is sixth in minutes among power forwards with 33.6 minutes per game. He is down in the paint battling for close to 34 minutes and is like a warrior each second. In the Warriors’ playoff series against the Denver Nuggets last year, Lee played through a torn hip flexor that was supposed to keep him out for the rest of the playoffs. Things like that are evidence of Lee’s courage and how he is a driving force in the Warriors’ franchise.
Lee deserves a lot more respect for his consistency. Just because he does not put up astronomical numbers, does not mean he is not a great power forward. Lee might as well have the words “double-double” tattooed across his forehead for crying out loud. Give this man his credit please!