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Blog Question

“Although the Warriors have had recent, stunning success with “small ball”, one of the biggest reasons we are in the playoffs was the play of Andris Biedrins for the majority of the season. In fact I don’t remember him missing a game, but I could be wrong. Why is he playing so little now? Is there something we don’t know?” — commish, danville

He is not playing much now because its match-up time. It’s about what you can exploit, creating an advantage. Biedrins isn’t a match-up guy. If he has the ball against a smaller player, he has no decisive advantage. Nor does he if he’s going against a bigger player. He’s a toll player — he takes a toll on you over the course of the game with his intangibles.
With Biedrins on the court, that’s one less position the Warriors have an advantage. That’s one less position Dallas doesn’t have to worry so much about.
Also, Biedrins doesn’t spread the floor, which is vital for a perimeter-oriented team. Somehow, a good team finds a way to get the ball inside. You want to work inside out. Since the Warriors don’t have a post they can dump it down to, they need to get inside by penetrating and cutting. So you need a way to open up driving lanes, create opportunities to get to the basket.
If the Warriors do post up, it’s most likely with a guard, predominantly Baron. Because Baron will need room and passing lanes, Nellie pushes the other four players out on the perimeter. If Biedrins is in the game, he’s not a factor from the perimeter, so it’s counterproductive for him to be on the floor.
If Dallas plays its centers, you might see more of Biedrins. But small ball will still take priority because its the Warriors most explosive lineup and the one where they have the most match-up advantages.

Marcus Thompson

  • commish

    Thanks for the insights. If we can get by Dallas, do you see him playing against (presumably)Yao?and Houston? And more importantly, how valuable is he to the team next year? We all thought he and Monta were untradeable and would definitely be offered extensions over the summer. Do you see that as still the case?