Thursday, February 3, 2011

Biedrins' Lack of Growth is Costing The Warriors

At first, he was a little known Latvian giant with quick feet and hands and was a force on the block. Problem was, he wasn't a great scorer as a teenager when they drafted him and they knew of his shortcomings which are surfacing now.

Biedrins belongs in the "No More Mr. Mice Guys" era, cause he's as soft and easy going on the court as they come. I really think the lack of his development took this team from a perennial playoff contender, to a a mediocre at best, 30-40 win team. And sorry folks, if you want to blame it solely on Baron Davis' departure down the coast to LA, that's onlyu a small part of it. Baron certainly was the main reason why basketball came to life in the Bay Area in 2007, but he had the supporting cast to do so, none more important than the 21 year-old Biedrins. In fact, all due respect to JRich, SJax and Harrington, you take Biedrins away, they aren't the powerhouse they were. Now Andris just seems lost. I don't think it's any coincidence that his game really took the big hit when his good buddy's, starting with B-Diddy, left town. BD was instrumental in Biedrins' growth and Baron made it no secret that he was trying to push Andris to becoming the player he ought to be.

Now, it sounds as if I'm almost making excuses for Andris that he's lost the talent around him, but that's not the case whatsoever. Sure, every center would like to have a '07 version of BD delivering them the ball and driving and dishing, turing a 6-8 ppg player into a 12-15 ppg player as he did so well in his prime. However, Biedrins is being paid over $10 clams a year to learn how to play without star guards surrounding him. He's being paid $10 Mill to be that double-double force he was in 2006-2009. I'm having trouble believing the fact that he's just getting worse as he's entering his prime years. Baron was great during his season in Oakland and yes it did make things for Biedrins easier offensively, but Steph Curry is quickly gaining that same type of notoriety and rep, yet Andris still cannot seem to string together a good stretch of basketball.

So the W's are trying a new approach now, and he's got a new big man in town to help share some of that responsibility and the W's are definitely that ends up working (though it hasn't yet), one much more fundamentally sound and overall "Harder 'n da Paint" (that ones for you Waka Flocka Flame). Throughout his career, Biedrins has relied on highly skilled passing guards to get him the ball in scoring situations, but since his scoring has plummetted, his confidence has shattered. Steph Curry isn't the ball-slinger Baron is and Andris has yet to adjust to playing to that style, but just don't know that he'll ever evolve in that way. Biedrins certainly has his strengths, and is a valuable NBA big man, but right now, only about 50 percent of the time he's playing like an NBA-capable center. In my eye, Biedrins seemed to lose his confidence when Baron left, and his weaknesses were magnified because Baron wasn't there to cover 'em up (and Nelly stopped caring, but that's for another post). Offensively, he doesn't move well or create without the ball and has spotty hands to say the least. Oh, and that free-throw shooting is Shaq-like... Defensively, he's not bad, and when his heads in the game and healthy, he's a pretty good rebounder.

Now, I know a lot of your are thinking, "man, he's got it out for Biedrins today", but that's not the case. I know he's still young, but he's no longer basketball young, and 5 years is plenty of time to establish yourself. I'd wait and see how this year plays out, then absolutely entertain the idea of packaging up Andris. Again, without Andris, the Warriors don't make that run in '07, but with Monta, Steph, Lee and Wright, he just isn't fitting in. Again, his contract is no small obstacle, as the W's would likely need to take on salary too. Flat out though, in my opinion, Biedrins has been a collosoul dissapointment since 2007, it's like he's all the sudden turned into Todd Fuller or Patrick O'Bryan.

I still have faith in Andris though, and I don't think he's done. With the trade deadline approaching though, I would certainly be open to dealing him in the right situation and wouldn't think twice about it.

Trevor Cole

1 comment:

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