Warriors coach Don Nelson told a funny after practice on Sunday.
NELLIE: “I came up with a new name for the team. The Golden State D-Leaguers.”
OK, maybe it wasn’t funny. But that was Nellie’s way of introducing Anthony Tolliver, his new power forward. The Warriors got another hardship exception from the league and they used it to sign Tolliver to a 10-day contract. For those keeping score, that is 5 former D-Leaguers on the roster: Kelenna Azubuike, C.J. Watson, Chris Hunter, Cartier Martin and now Tolliver.
NELLIE: “We’ve probably used it more than anybody. Look at our roster. It’s full of D-League guys. I think actually you can get a better player in the D-League than you can in the second round in the draft right now. Those guys have more experience. They’ve been playing at a professional level. So you can save a year of development there.”
Tolliver is 6-9, 240-pounder. He played 14 games with the Idaho Stampede. His numbers are good: 21.4 points, 11.4 rebounds. 2.5 assists in 35 minutes. He was called up earlier this season by Portland (Dec. 17-29) and played in two games before being released. He played 19 games with the San Antonio Spurs last season.
GM Larry Riley chose Tolliver over the more expected choice: Rob Kurz. Kurz played with the Warriors all last season, at both power forward and center. But the Warriors went with someone who was more athletic and thrives in an uptempo game. Nellie said he likes the fact that Tolliver shoots the 3. Nellie always wants a big man who can spread the floor.
Tolliver is going to play, no doubt, as the Warriors are down to 7 players (OOPS! 8 pLAYERS. HOW COULD I FORGET ABOUT MAGGETTE) who are healthy and available heading into Monday’s game. They could end up with eight players by tip-off, if somehow Ronny Turiaf (sprained right ankle) can go or something changes dramatically for Vladimir Radmanovic (sore right Achilles) who is doubtful.
But certainly, guard Anthony Morrow is out. I’m told he sprained his right MCL. That injury can keep a player out up to a month, but the Warriors are saying he could be back as early as next Friday’s game vs. New Jersey. C.J. Watson is out with a cut on his right hand, between his index and middle finger. He said a Dwyane Wade finger nail did the trick. He can’t catch, dribble, shake hands or anything with his right hand, which received five stitches. He was filling out ticket requests on Friday with his left hand. He’ll likely miss at least two more games.
The Warriors have zero reserve guards. None. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry will start. The next closest thing to a guard is Cartier Martin, who may start himself at SF. That leaves a bench of forward Devean George, center Chris Hunter and Tolliver. Considering Curry’s propensity for foul trouble, that could be trouble for the Warriors.
How much do the Warriors miss Marco Belinelli right now?