If the season started today, the starting five would look like this:
PG DeMarcus Nelson
SG Stephen Jackson
SF Corey Maggette
PF Al Harrington
C Andris Biedrins
That’s right. DeMarcus Nelson, as of right now, is the starting point guard. If Chris Paul was in town today, he would be matched up against the undrafted rookie out of Duke. Does that spell doom for the Warriors? Or is DeMarcus Nelson the best chance the Warriors have at this point?
He certainly maybe the best chance defensively. He’s big and physical and defensive-minded. When’s the last time the Warriors had that at point guard.
How would you like to be Marcus Williams and C.J. Watson right now, having the coach exalt a training camp invitee over you?
* Well, with the Marco Belinelli-at-point experiment nixed, Nellie all but put an end to the Stephen Jackson-at-point experiement.
“Since he’s been a turnover machine at the two, I’m a little reluctant at the one,” Nellie said.
He did, however, open up another point guard experience. Andris Biedrins-at-point. Check out this exchange between Nellie and Matt Steinmetz.
Would it be a totally ridiculous suggestion to put Andris at point?
“Well, we’re going to be going through him more than we did last year, that’s for sure.”
Could you use him to break pressure?
Can he initiate the offense?
“Yes. Both our centers can do that.”
Is that what you have to do to be called a point-center?
“I wouldn’t go that far, but pressure release is the main thing and then have a couple of plays that they can actually initiate, which we have. I feel comfortable that, that will work out fine.”
Certainly much more of an endorsement than Nellie gave Marcus Williams on Monday.
* Twice, Biedrins went up for two of his flip shots right at the rim. Twice, rookie Anthony Randolph swatted it away. The lanky rookie has a knack for blocking shots. He can get up there quickly and he’s got the length to get to shots.
Maybe Randolph is closer to Brandan Wright than most thought. Because of his turnover problems, Randolph may be best suited to play power forward and not small forward at this point in his career. At least his best chance to stay on the court might be at PF.
Sure, he’s skinny, but he’s not weak. He is willing to get down there and he can impact the game on defense because the Warriors desperately need someone to protect the basket. He won’t have to handle the ball as much or make decisions on offense. He’s probably better creating against traditional power forwards than against small forwards.
Randolph at the four takes minutes away from Wright. But, oh well. Randolph is the best young talent (other than Monta Ellis) on the team. He’s the asset the Warriors most need to groom. It would probably be best for his confidence and for his overall production if he plays at PF, where he can be a garbage player and defender who has the ability to create offense in certain occasions. Just my two cents.
* Kelenna Azubuike is looking like a beast in practice. He was all over the court Monday. Rebounding. Scoring. Creating. Once again, he has separated himself from Belinelli and is clearly the back-up shooting guard. If this is any indication of how he’ll play this season – haven’t we seen these flashes before? – don’t be surprised to see Nellie play Jax, Mags and Buike together, with Biedrins at center (or even Al) and the PG. If Jax stops kicking the ball around, he may be the point and Al and Biedrins could be on the floor together with Buike and Mags.
*One spot left. Who will be cut? Rob Kurz or Anthony Morrow? Either way, Nellie said neither will get much of a chance to make one-last pitch to stick around. Nelson said the focus for the last preseason game will be to get the main guys jelling together and ready for the season. Everyone else will just have to rest on their laurels and hope they’ve proven what they can do enough.