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Biedrins Experiencing Déjà vu; Curry Needs Thera Flu; Dorell Wright Makes Jim Barnett a Genius

Andris Biedrins is getting frustrated with the lack of progress in his left ankle, which has forced him out of the last six games, including Wednesday’s game at Atlanta. Like David Lee and Stephen Curry before him, Biedrins is stuck battling against his desire to play and his need to be healthy.

His ankle is still swollen and painful. He hasn’t been able to do anything on it, as of Tuesday. Before the team’s flight Tuesday, Biedrins received his second PRP shot — an injection of concentrated platelets, cell fragments, to aid in his ankles recover. He is supposed to sit out for 48 hours after the shot, so he can’t test his ankle again until Thursday. Unless he sees drastic improvement on Thursday, enough to practice, I wouldn’t expect him in Friday’s game at Charlotte, either.

BIEDRINS: “I know it’s nothing major. It’s an ankle. But still. I mean, I want to play all the time. I missed so much last year. Now this injury is taking a little bit longer than we thought. It’s just frustrating.”

Biedrins did say the home stretch in January and February — 18 of 22 at Oracle — are of utmost importance and he wants to be healthy for that stretch. Biedrins said  he even considered missing this road trip if it means ensuring he’s healthy for that stretch. He said he won’t play until he do something on it. Then he has to worry about conditioning.

The wise thing might be to come back this road trip, because his first couple games will be assuredly be rusty. He can try to knock that off on the end of this road trip. But first, his ankle must show some progress.

BIEDRINS: “January and February, we have so many home games. I’m not rushing things. We haven’t set any date for me to come back, whether it’s going to be on this road trip or not. I’ll make sure it is totally healthy. I’d rather be 100 percent for all those home games coming up because that’s the most important push of the season. We have to really take care of the next month and a half.”

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With Biedrins out, as well as back-up center Dan Gadzuric out with a strained left groin, Smart has gone frequently to the smaller lineup, with David Lee at center. Lou Amundson has started games, but Smart seems to be in love with Lee at center and Vlad at power forward.

But Smart said it is a product of necessity and not a change of philosophy. Though Lee played center in New York, Smart wants a traditional lineup, Lee at power forward and a true center. He contends rebounding is the most important thing for their defense and he doesn’t want to sacrifice that for a smaller and more offensively skilled lineup.

However, Smart did say he is more comfortable now with using that lineup for specific situations (like when the other team goes small). He said he didn’t think that lineup worked well early, but the success they’ve had has shown him he can use that lineup when necessary – which it is now, with Biedrins and Gadzuric out.

SMART: “It’s a long game, so you may have match-ups within the game where he’s playing a little bit of five. But no matter how you cut it, he has to learn how to be a four man playing against fours, and we have to keep our centers there. Because there will be times where you won’t be able to (play him at center). You’ll have to have a big matched up with another big.”

Wednesday night’s game might’ve been a good example of  that. The Hawks’ bigs dominated inside and David Lee definitely looked at a disadvantage against Al Horford. The Warriors only lost the rebounding battle by one, because Lee and Amundson did compete on the boards, and Dorell Wright’s dominance of Marvin Williams helped out, too. But Horford and Josh Smith got whatever they wanted. (Of course, if Andris had started, Lee would have had to defend Josh Smith, which is probably a worse match-up.)

The obvious answer is to use Udoh more. But Smart sat him the entire second half. He said he thought Udoh looked a step slow and wasn’t ready for the experience of the Hawks bigs.

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Curry was done after the game. He looked completely exhausted and said he felt like throwing up. It seemed Smart felt the same way after watching Curry play, because he kept yanking him from the game and sitting him or long periods.

In addition to being out of shape after sitting for two weeks with a sprained right ankle, Curry had to deal with flu-like symptoms on Wednesday. He labored through 29  minutes and at times was visibly gasping for air. (Still, it seemed he sat for too long some times, as the Warriors were in desperate need of some offensive flow. Curry had 12 assists in 29 minutes.) On top of that, he committed three turnovers — all a result of being casual with the rock — kept leaving Mike Bibby open. (Not all of that was Curry’s fault, as a few times he was doubling down on Horford and was forced to run out to contest the 3 even though someone should have rotated over to cover for him).

CURRY: “It’s the first time I tried to play sick in a while. Especially missing six games before, I was already a little bit out of shape. That put me back a little bit. But I tried to fight through it … It was just tough trying to get going with my body feeling the way it did.”

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Part of the reason Monta Ellis had a hard time on offense was because he had to work hard defending a bigger, stronger two guard in Joe Johnson. He posted Ellis, ran Ellis off screens and just made Ellis work. Johnson finished with 16 points on 6-for-14 shooting with 8 assists. Ellis mostly settled for jumpers on offense, going 4-for-13 from the field.  Of Ellis’ 13 shots, 11 were from 15 feet or further. He took just four shots in the second half. And he wasn’t getting to the line either, making just 2 of 2 from the stripe.

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Someone is really happy about Dorell Wright’s performance Wednesday. His name is Jim Barnett.

I watched the Warriors’ game vs. Philly while I packed for the road trip and the Warriors’ TV analyst constantly talked about how Wright needs to get to the basket more and get to the FT line more. He said Wright never uses his pump fake to get to the basket, instead wastes it with extra dribbles, trying to draw a foul, or by following it with a tough jumper.

Well, Wednesday, Wright got going by getting into the middle of the Hawks defense, and even to the basket. Only four of his 13 made baskets were from 3-point range. Wright did his damage by attacking – off the dribble, off screens and, yes, using his pump fake. The result was a career high and his second consecutive game with at least 20 points, the first time in his career he’s done that.

WRIGHT: “I’m trying to change everything. I don’t want to be a spot-up shooter because I have so much more I can offer to this team. I think I need to use that a little more, and the past few games I’ve been doing that.”

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As nasally as can be, Curry was singing a song by Diddy Dirty Money.

CURRY: “I’m coming home. I’m coming home. Tell the world I’m coming home. How that song go?”

Curry has big plans for his second trip as a pro to his hometown of Charlotte. Of course, he’ll be stopping at Chik-Fil-A. But he’ll also be checking out his Davidson Wildcats.

When asked who they played, Curry laughed before answering.

CURRY: “Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.”

One more question, Mr. Curry. You listen to Diddy Dirty Money????

CURRY: “I was flipping channels and I stopped for a second on BET and that song was playing.”

Marcus Thompson

  • coltraning

    Nice post, Marcus. I thought it was odd that Smart did not play Carney or Law at all and barely played Udoh…not convinced he has the brightest substitution patterns…spot on on Curry – he is suffering but somehow has really ramped up assist per minute and his assist to turnover ratio since the injury. 5/1 assist to turnover is pretty damned impressive since the return. I am not blaming Smart that they lost, but his playing rotation seemed very odd today. Since neither Radmonovic or Lee could guard Horford or Smith, would not have hurt to play Udoh more.

  • victor Alexander

    You know what might have helped us out last night? Playing udoh for more than 5 minutes. Just to try to match up with length inside, just sayin’, it could have. We’ll never know now though.

  • Earl Monroe

    Curry forced the issue offensively down the stretch with little success, Ellis just looked worn down 43 minutes on a night he did not look anyway is too much,Atlanta looked like they where going thru the motions, this was a perfect game to play some of the other guys a bit more, 5 minutes here 5 minutes there it all makes a difference but apparently not to Smart. He is going to kill this small backcourt with this type of minutes, and Carney does not get off the bench after the nice performances of the last two games? Now I am not a Carney fan but the kid has been playing well.

  • stevo29

    Monta stll does not get the respect from the officials. he dorve to the hoop several times, bot the low body bump and no foul was called. Thats what happens when your r a losing team. B Wright got in the game. 2 points, no other stats…what a waste )-:

  • TownBiz

    I figured something had to be up with Curry. He looked horrible last night. Still waiting for the Curry of last year to appear.

    Dont quite get why Smart was scared to play Udoh. How else will he get up to that level.

  • TownBiz

    I figured something had to be up. Curry looked horrible last night. Im still waiting for the Curry of last year to appear.

  • earl monroe

    I am starting to think now that there is a method to David Kahn’s madness, at least he is taking some chances, very gutsy guy

  • earl monroe

    Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, that is how I feel about Curry chucking up shots at the end of the Atlanta game, Those quick shots kill you
    no matter who you are, and if you know your shot is not back yet you need to
    facilitate, especially if you have Ellis and Wright in the game, Ellis is the one who
    needs to shoot no matter what, tired sleepy etc etc, Curry needs to understand
    the role, I love his game, but please use some common sense, shots are not falling right now, the twelve assists are nice but it was obvious that any chance that existed flew out the window with that awful shooting 3 minutes at the end of the game by Curry, the talk of Curry and Elllis being at the top of all scoring tandem guards in the NBA is overrated, I rather have Curry get 15 and 12 assists everygame and have Monta get 26, that is more balanced

  • rigged

    This injury ‘curse’ is too old. Too old since the Warriors got Larry Riley became the Warriors GM. Something is definitely wrong. Training and medical staff perhaps. The Warriors hadn’t had a change actually. Just a little tweak of owner Chris Cohans name and that’s it! Same old SUCKY team.

  • W’s in 2010

    The Curry ripping is hilarious. His stats are up across the board, and he’s doing it in less minutes.

  • reybuenabal

    It has little to do with Smart or Riley. Please mature. This is a very young team assembled by Riley based on the best he can get for the money and reputation. Few players are willing to play here, but with the current roster and new ownership, it’s possible that will no longer be the case next season.
    Let’s give Smart a year and see where we are before we inundate him with blames, etc. This is our team, be positive, be a true fan like the loyal consistent 17,000 fans coming to the the games each time. In June, we’ve read some saying Udoh is a bust, he is this and that, but now you blame Smart for not playing him enough? If you a

  • thewarriorsrule

    smart does not know what he is doing. that is so funny how he claims he always wants a true pf and center in the game, but that never happens. udoh deserves more playing time. so many times i see smart take out defense for offense, when it is the defense that is sparking the offense. so many times i see smart take out a bench player who is doing well in favor of a starter who is cold. so many times i see smart put in radman at pf, when he should only be playing sf. bwright plays solid in his return game and in the next game he gets a DNP. in the games that lin played well, he gets taken out. so many times i see smart try to go to small ball. the list goes on and on…