David West's Quiet Brilliance

Despite the second-fewest minutes per game of his career, David West has been incredibly effective in limited minutes.

Two years before Steph Curry was drafted, in Kevin Durant's rookie year, the Golden State Warriors' elder statesman David West made his first All-Star Team. West made his second and final appearance one year later as the secondary star behind the shining force of Chris Paul at his apex. Curry and Durant's rises were coupled with West's slow and steady decline, but West is certainly not gone yet.

West was decently efficient and effective in his first year as a Warrior, but he has blown those numbers out of the water this year. West is shooting an astonishing 62.4% from the floor this year, by far the best mark of his NBA career. In addition to that success, he has been more than adequate as a backup center defensively. While playing alongside the rest of the Warriors is bound to boost anyone's numbers, David West has surpassed all reasonable expectations with his play this year.

Small Sample Size All-Star

David West is averaging 13.0 minutes per game, just a tick above his career-low 12.6 minutes per game last season. His numbers don't exactly jump out of the box score at first glance. However, a deeper dive into the numbers show just how much West has taken advantage of his limited time on the floor.

West is averaging 19.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per 36 minutes this year--close to his peak numbers from his All-Star days with far better assist numbers. He is also averaging 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes, which would be more than twice his blocks per 36 minutes average from every year of his career other than his first season in Golden State.

On the offensive end, West is able to capitalize on the space in the mid-range game that is left wide open with Golden State's stars on the court. He ranks in the 96th percentile in mid-range shooting this season per Cleaning the Glass. When West is not able to convert on pick-and-pop jumpers or spot-ups from mid-range, he (like most of the rest of the team) is incredibly effective as an off-ball cutter--he ranks in the 89th percentile in efficiency near the rim (per Cleaning the Glass) and ranks in the 93rd percentile on cuts (per Synergy).

On the defensive end, West generates turnovers and possession changes better than almost anyone in the league. West is somehow in the 98th percentile for both steal rate and block rate--he might not have the mobility to cover enough ground to be a power forward. However, now that Steve Kerr has made him a small-ball center, West does a solid job of manning the middle in pick-and-roll coverage while also doing a great job in terms of jumping into passing lanes.

David West is in the twilight of his career, and can no longer play 35+ minutes like he could in his New Orleans days. However, West's impeccable basketball IQ has not yet abandoned him. He might not get to play much in Golden State, but he can still quietly dominate the action when he does step on the court.

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