6

Training Camp Battles

The best training camps are usually the ones marked by competition. The Warriors have a few unknowns that need to be worked out and will make for quite some drama during their stay in Hawaii. So, all you prognosticators out there, who do you think will emerge from training camp victorious? Better yet, who are you pulling for?

Monta vs. Marco

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The departure of Jason Richardson leaves a void at the starting shooting guard spot. Monta figures to be the no-brainer, coming off his Most Improved Player Award-winning campaign last season. But Belinelli, a natural shooter, probably makes more sense. Not only do the Warriors need a good outside shooter to start, but Belinelli’s inexperience can be better masked in the starting lineup as opposed to the second unit. Ellis would give the Warriors proven production off the bench.

Mickael vs. Kelenna

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These two will be battling for the back-up swingman spot, behind Jackson. This spot usually turns out to get a lot of playing time when the Warriors go small. It will especially be valuable the first seven games of the season, with Jackson suspended.
Pietrus — the most experienced and playing for a contract — has to be considered the frontrunner. But don’t sleep on Kelenna, who has a better all-around game.

Patrick vs. Kosta

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Will either one of these players emerge as Andris Biedrins back-up? Can either of them prove to Nellie they are worth throwing out there for some rebounding and defense?

Marcus Thompson

  • JustPuked

    Monta vs. Marco and Mickael vs. Kelenna
    So far I haven’t heard much about Monta in the first few days of training camp. Marco has gotten gushing reviews from Harrington and Nelson and apparently Baron has been calling his number a lot. Word is, Kelenna has been getting the bulk of time with the first unit and has looked fantastic. There’s your dark horse candidate right there. Since Mickael won’t start practicing until today, it’s hard to gauge his impact, but since he didn’t make the French team, he should be well rested and healthy.

    Belinelli, on paper is a better match for SG but Monta can be unstoppable. It’s hard to imagine Bells stepping into the starting role so easily considering how deep the team is at that position but..Nelson’s been emphatic that Monta needs to be a point guard first, so I’d give the nod to Marco in their head to head. Kelenna is also my pick at swingman. Unless Mickael makes a quantum leap in his decision making he’s best coming off the bench in small spurts. I’d prefer to see Kelenna get the bulk of the anyway.

    Patrick vs. Kosta
    Nelson praised O’Bryant’s play after the second day of practice. Perhaps he’s discovered his competitive fire finally. Patrick was upfront that Nelson expected him to make rebounding his priority, you’ve got to expect that means he was cleaning the glass with abandon. I’m picking Patrick. Everyone points to Perovic’s shooting touch as his advantage but O’Bryant has range to 18 feet as well. With his athleticism and shot blocking, if he can start contributing he’ll be a better fit than Kosta anyway. Kosta supposed to be pretty raw, and we all know the learning curve for post players is steep, I think we’d be lucky to get much from him this year.

  • petaluman

    Even the coaches need TC and the pre-season to answer these questions! Nevertheless, in the name of pure speculation:

    Monta vs. Marco

    Nelson continues to insist that Monta must become a PG to reach his potential. He can score at any spot, but he can only guard PGs. With Baron, they often switch defensive assignments, but that won’t work with Hudson, who is even smaller than Ellis. For both his and the Warriors’ future, I hope Monta earns more minutes at PG than SG this year.

    Marco’s going to have to beat out Kelenna, though. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Azubuike will be our starting 2 at the beginning of the year. Marco is special, and will get plenty of minutes in his rookie season. However, he has to convince Nelson that the non-shooting part of his game is also NBA-ready if he’s to crack the starting unit.

    Mickael vs. Kelenna

    I don’t see Pietrus as a SG. I say Kelenna gets plenty of time at the 2, and Pietrus’ minutes will come mostly at 3. Who gets more minutes overall will depend on how others progress.

    Patrick vs. Kosta

    POB has a year in the NBA. I think he would have progressed further if he’d gotten more minutes, but at least he knows what he’s up against. Kosta is a complete unknown to me, so I have to go with Patrick.

    My dream developments?

    1. BD gets his 28 mpg (Nelson’s dream), with ME getting almost all of the rest, and TH taking Sarunas’ spot on the bench (nothing personal, Troy).

    2. One of the new-to-the-team bigs shows enough for Nelson to trot out a “big unit” occasionally. If we could play Jackson and Harrington at 2 and 3 in spots, it would help us on the boards.

  • manhattanproj

    marcus, i want to know how brendan wright and lasme are doing?

    i’ve seen marco play in the summer league, he gambles alot on defense. not sure if nelson likes that. he’s got a terrific sense on offense tho. good shooting touch and moves without the ball. his game is diff from monta in that he’s more of a rip hamilton type. monta is more of a arenas/iverson type. if you have bd and jackson, marco compliments them better.

    but i like to see keleena get a shot at the 2-spot. he plays d, rebounds, can shot, and dribbles. he’s alot like j-rich but has better all around skills than j-rich.

  • zgreat

    Monta vs. Marco

    I could be mistaken but I thought Nellie referred to Marco as his starter on the Razor & Mr. T show.

    I agree with Marcus that we’ll need Marco’s shooting range as a starter. However, I’m not buying the comment about “Belinelli’s inexperience can be better masked in the starting lineup as opposed to the second unit” because that would apply to everyone on the team. Biedrins will help cover everyone’s mistakes a lot better then POB and Kosta.

    Mickael vs. Kelenna

    I can’t analyze this any better then petaluman’s comment. I’m wondering if the prospect of unrestricted free agency will finally motivate MP to develop some court sense.

    Patrick vs. Kosta

    Personally, I think both would benefit most in the D league. POB was a huge disappointment in the summer league. I haven’t seen Kosta play but I think he still has a lot to learn about rebounding based upon his Euro League stats.

  • dareedle

    Monta vs Bellini: This may be a mute point, I would bet on BD missing a good chunk of games and Monta starting at the PG position. We traded one of the leagues best rebounding 2 guards on the team near the bottome of rebounding for a Italian rookie who can’t rebound … my guess is the Nellie magic will end ugly like it usually does. Remember he also pumped up Dunleavy and Murphy at the beginning of last year and both underwhelmed big time.
    Mickael vs. Kelenna … I don’t know who has the edge but Mickael needs to defend like a mad man to earn big bucks, Kelenna should be the heir apparent to the Pietrus minutes when Mickeal looks to cash in his contract.
    Kosta vs POB Despite what Nellie says about the development of POB, Nellie can’t coach bigs so Kosta has a huge edge on POB and I bank on see a shake up at the trading deadline with POB and Ellis as trade bait to land an experienced veteran big (Sheed?)

  • TPG

    Monta vs. Marco

    It’s Marco, the pure shooter at the 2 spot. He’s an experienced playmaker and reminds me a lot of Manu Ginobili with his size and toughness. Monta should be focusing this year on backing up Baron. He can get to the hoop, has an excellent mid range jumper, and he’s got pure speed. He can better defend the best point guards in the conference (Nash, Parker, Williams, Paul, and Iverson) than Hudson. Monta just needs more time at the position because Baron just won’t be around forever.

    Mickael vs. Kelenna

    This match up doesn’t really matter in Nellie’s system where players are expected to play multiple positions. As he did throughout last season, Nellie went with whoever was hot at the time. As for who may get the most playing time, although Kelenna has a better all around game, Mickael can shut players down defensively and should see more time at the small forward position. With Mickael and Jackson on the floor at the same time, the W’s should be able to shut down the Kobe’s and Nowitzski’s in the conference.

    Patrick vs. Kosta

    Neither guy runs well at all. And quite frankly, the W’s don’t really need their backup centers score. Stephane Lasme will be backing up Andris against most teams. He’s a better athlete, is much faster, and has a better nose for the ball. He should be able to get a good 10 rebounds a night. Against the Boozer’s in the league, the W’s can throw out Kosta and Croshere to bang around a bit, but Patrick’s time with the W’s looks it’s done. He did not play well during the Summer League and he’s just not what the Warriors need right now.