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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-08-29

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-08-29

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-08-29
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008-09 Golden State Warriors:

Starting at point guard - eventually: Monta Ellis. After suffering a severe high ankle sprain that required surgery on Aug. 27 to repair, Ellis isn't expected to be able to return until December. New addition Marcus Williams will man the position in Ellis' absence. Re-signed to a six-year, $67 million contract in July, Ellis will be moved into Baron Davis' old position after he returns. He can't be expected to provide the leadership or ball-distribution of the Team MVP the past two seasons, but the former second-round pick will find the ball in his hands late in close games. How he handles that pressure will go a long way toward determining not only how the Warriors do next season.

Starting at shooting guard: Corey Maggette. If you're looking for the main reason the Warriors didn't make the playoffs last season (other than the fact they play in the Western Conference), it was the Jason Richardson trade. The club dealt the present (Richardson's 20-plus scoring average) for the future (lottery pick Brandan Wright, who saw little playing time last season). Thanks to money freed up when Davis opted out of his contract, the Warriors have now corrected that mistake by signing a Richardson-type player in Maggette, whose rebounding from the guard position might be as critical as his scoring on a club that routinely has gotten hammered on the boards in recent seasons.

Starting at small forward: Stephen Jackson. With the Warriors having signed Ronny Turiaf and drafted Wright and Anthony Randolph in the past 15 months, there's less need to push the undersized Jackson to power forward, as was the case on too many occasions last season. That said, Jackson's versatility is what makes him so valuable to an outside-the-box coach like Nelson.

Starting at power forward: Anthony Randolph? Clearly, the stiffest competition in training camp will come at this position, where this year's lottery pick (Randolph) will battle last year's top choice (Wright) and former Lakers' backup Turiaf for the starting spot. Then again, swingman Kelenna Azubuike also was re-signed this off-season, giving Nelson to option of moving him into the shooting guard spot and pushing Maggette and Jackson up a notch. After a very impressive summer league stint, Randolph already has vaulted himself into the thick of the picture.

And starting at center: Andris Biedrins. He got slightly less than Ellis (six years, $54 million) to return to the club, but his role is equally as important. The club's only legitimate alternatives at the center position are Al Harrington and Turiaf, neither of whom would be considered a center on a team not coached by Nelson.

It should be fun, even if the fun ends in the middle of April.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: August 29, 2008


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