The Golden State Warriors snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Phoenix Suns 108 - 98. Klay Thompson commemerated his bobblehead night by scoring a game-high 28 while adding eight rebounds. Jarrett Jack was equally as effective scoring 21 points in 36 minutes off the bench. Both have been key contributors so far this season for a Warriors team that currently sits sixth in the Western Conference. Thompson shoots the rock with accuracy while streaky but sometimes inconsistent. Jack has been efficient all season, proving to be a legitimate 6th Man of the Year candidate. Center Andrew Bogut has been sidelined for more than half the season with an ankle injury, but now will participate in back-to-back games while also receiving more minutes. Carl Landry has provided toughness off the bench while rookie Harrison Barnes has had a few nice moments and highlights but has been relatively limited in terms of impact and production. There's no question to even the casual basketball fan that the co-catalysts of this team are Steph Curry and David Lee. But is one more valuable than the other?
Both are statistical anomalies based on the positions they play. Lee was selected as Golden State's first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997, although Curry was just as deserving. Lee ranks 13th in scoring at 19.0 PPG and 9th in rebounding at 10.8 RPG. In addition to shooting a cool 51% from the field, he leads the league in assists from the power forward position at 3.8 APG and double doubles with 38, including 19 20 point, 10 rebound games, which is also first in the Association. Curry's resume is equally as impressive, ranking 9th in scoring (21.1) and 13th in assists (6.6). In addition, Curry is second in free throw percentage behind Kevin Durant and three point field goals made behind Ryan Anderson. The downside are turnovers and defensively. Both Lee and Curry are not premier defenders. Curry tends to struggle more with quicker point guards, while Lee can hold his own against forwards his size, his deficiency is lateral foot speed with the big-body type post presences like a Kenneth Faried. The argument for both can be made, and your splitting hairs either way. The Warriors won their only game is which Lee did not play, while their record with Curry out of the lineup in four games is 2 - 2. Both are valuable, but Lee is likely the least dispensible player considering the depth chart behind him. While they have had some good games throughout the season, but none recently, Barnes and Landry's combined production doesn't match Lee's consistently, while Jarrett Jack has been excellent all season as Curry's backup, scoring, facilitating and playing clutch fourth quarter minutes. You can bet the latter if Curry and Lee missed the same game. However the season ends up, The Warriors are looking to secure just their second playoff berth in 18 seasons. After a tough five-game East Coast swing, Golden State finishes the season playing 16 of their final 22 at home.