Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golden State D-Leaguers beat Bulls

I can't remember a more injury stricken team than the Warriors of this season. I realize this is a tired discussion and an excuse for the lack of wins. But c'mon. The Warriors were the better team than the Bucks last Friday, but simply ran out of man power. The Warriors have three D-League call ups on the roster in Chris Hunter, Cartier Martin, and Anthony Tolliver. All of these guys are deserving, but they are at a serious disadvantage joining the team at this point in the season. This isn't like baseball where you are almsot at an advantage when you first get called up due to a lack of scouting. Basketball teams build chemistry over many games and minutes together. At least the D-League guys don't have to learn any defensive schemes (as the Warriors don't play D).

The loss against the Bucks was disappointing. It was like watching a boxing match in which the better fighter was disqualified for a cut that wouldn't stop bleeding.

The Monday win against the Bulls was encouraging. Playing a D-League line up didn't matter because the Warriors still had their top three scorers on the floor in Ellis, Maggette, and Curry. The difference between a 130-114 loss and pulling out the win was the play of Andris Biedrins. The Latvian leviathan had his best game of the season, grabbing 19 boards and blocking eight shots. (Imagine a healthy front line of Biedrins, Turiaf, Randolph, and Wright. That unit would average 10+ blocks per game)

The Warriors lack of health continuity this season has factored into losing 27 games, but consider the annoying cliche of 'a blessing in disguise'. Don Nelson has been forced to play Anthony Randolph, Steph Curry, and Anthony Morrow. Maybe those guys would have got minutes regardless, but there would have been less minutes to go around if you include a healthy Brandon Wright and Kelenna Azubuike. Plus, Biedrins and Turiaf missed a majority of the first half of the year.
While I'm on the topic of speculation, think of what the Warriors roster may look like next year. The loudest crying over the years is the need for a power forward of star quality contend against the slew in the Western conference. Despite these cries, the Warriors will have a better front line than most people think. (i.e. the unit mentioned above) It would be nice to have a go to post player to play off Monta, but what would have to be sacrificed to get that kind of player? The draft will be interesting as the Warriors should have another high first round pick. Like last season, the Warriors will take the best available player, and not draft for a specific position.

There, I speculated and now I'm done. The Warriors will get more wins than expected as Biedrins looks to be returning to his old form.

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