No matter the sport, recovering from an injury is one of the more difficult processes an athlete can encounter. Not only must they focus on getting their body mended back to its professional state, but must then shake off the rust from their missed playing time, and return to their previous form. This uphill battle is one that many have conquered, but is now faced by Golden State Warriors‘ power forward/center David Lee. After tearing a muscle in his right hip in the first game of the 2013 playoffs, which forced him to sit out for the rest of the Warriors’ postseason, Lee has had to divert a large amount of his attention this summer to his recovery, and once again becoming an integral part of his team’s offense. However, Lee is not concerned about his ability to perform at his standard All-Star level when the season opens, as he claims to be fully recovered and in the best shape of his life.
Should this turn for the best in Lee’s health hold, it gives the Warriors the powerhouse starting lineup they had hoped for. After assembling a combination around starting point guard Stephen Curry that masterfully compliments his abilities, Golden State landed all around small forward Andre Iguodala, who does nothing but improve the lineup. David Lee adds a considerable aid at rebounding, as well as on offense, that, alongside defensive juggernaut Andrew Bogut, makes for a dominating inside game on both ends of the floor. Defensively, Bogut brings a solid rebounding ability mixed with considerable shot blocking numbers, and last season, Lee ranked first in the league in defensive rebounding rate, and had more defensive boards than all but two players in the entire NBA.
Furthermore, with Bogut taking up room in the post and pulling down offensive rebounds, it allows Lee to play with more freedom offensively, something that should be seen as a massive threat to opposing teams. After finishing the 2013 regular season as the leader in double-doubles with fifty six, one could easily see the the impressiveness of Lee’s production. He is a consistently dynamic scorer, averaging 18.2 points per game since becoming an every day starter for the New York Knicks, and has a career field goal percentage of over fifty three percent. Having this exceptional offensive presence gives Golden State quite a bit of flexibility, as opposing defenses will not only have to concentrate on limiting David Lee’s inside offense, but with Klay Thompson from long range, and Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry from virtually anywhere.
David Lee is an integral part of a Warriors team that can look on the new season with hope and high aspirations for a plethora of reasons. Not only does he return to lead one of the league’s best rebounding units, but serves as one of the key components to a nearly seamless offense. Lee’s presence is also a necessity during the season; since he arrived in 2010, Golden State has gone 3-18 in regular season games in which he did not play. If Lee can avoid injury this season, and be a cornerstone for the Warriors, Golden State can set its sights beyond just making the playoffs, but reaching an impressive point in them as well.