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News » Golden State Warriors Roster Report 2009-10-18


Golden State Warriors Roster Report 2009-10-18


Golden State Warriors Roster Report 2009-10-18Warriors coach Don Nelson has admitted he will allow matchups to dictate his starting lineups this season. Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins have earned every-game spots, but the fifth starter will be chosen from among a quick guard (Stephen Curry), a shooter (Anthony Morrow) and a bigger body (Kelenna Azubuike).

ANALYZING STARTERS:

G Monta Ellis missed the first 43 games last season following ankle surgery, then clearly wasn't himself even while averaging 19.0 points and shooting 45.1 percent. One of the quickest guards in the league to the hoop, he made an amazing 53.1 percent of his shots the season before when paired with Baron Davis. He's now fully recovered from his injury and, if Stephen Curry emerges as expected, could have a Davis-type ball distributor playing alongside him.

G Anthony Morrow led the league in three-point shooting percentage last season (46.7) after having been an undrafted rookie, and that was without a classic draw-and-kick point guard alongside him. An impressive summer-league stint and the drafting of Stephen Curry could make Morrow an even more dangerous weapon this season. If Stephen Jackson is traded, suspended or loses minutes due to unhappiness, Morrow could earn enough playing time to average double-figures in scoring.

F Stephen Jackson is the club's most versatile player, able to pass (6.5 assists per game last season), rebound (5.1) and defend anyone from point guards to power forwards. He's also the club's most volatile player, which makes him the ultimate hit-or-miss prospect this season. If Jackson is on his multi-faceted game, the Warriors could make the playoffs. If he's on suspension, they could be first in line at the lottery.

F Anthony Randolph enters the season as one of the league's most intriguing players. He dazzled Warriors fans when he, as a rookie, escaped Don Nelson's doghouse to either score or rebound in double-figures in each of the club's final 12 games. Then he was even better in summer-league play. The high-flyer could be one of the league's biggest surprises this season, a nightly double-double waiting to happen.

C Andris Biedrins has quietly been one of the most productive big men in the league in recent years, averaging near-double-doubles two consecutive seasons before going for 11.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game in 2008-09. Few centers are better at setting high picks, catching the ball on the run en route to the hoop and finishing -- all critical skills in a Nelson offense. At age 23, you'd expect even bigger and better things this season.

ANALYZING KEY RESERVES:

G Stephen Curry is the key to the Warriors' season because on-court leadership and ball distribution were missing ingredients for the club following the departure of Baron Davis. Even if he doesn't start, don't be surprised if Curry plays upward of 30 minutes a night as the Warriors desperately need someone to spread the ball around to their many capable scorers. Curry's long-distance shooting accuracy also figures to be an asset to a team that loves to fire up three-pointers.

F Kelenna Azubuike is the Warriors' most under-appreciated player, a classic utility man who helps in areas of greatest need (defense and rebounding). He also ranked among the league leaders in three-point shooting percentage last season (44.8), making him someone Nelson had a hard time taking off the court on many nights. He will start at small forward on nights when Nelson wants defensive ace Jackson to match up with the opponent's star shooting guard.

F Corey Maggette almost single-handedly changed the Warriors' personality last season with his ability not only to get to the free-throw line, but also to consistently cash in from there. The ex-Clipper averaged more than eight free throws a game, hitting 82.4 percent of them. The Warriors, who for years had ranked at or near the bottom of the league in all foul-shooting categories, basically overnight rose to No. 1 in free throws made, No. 2 in attempts and No. 8 in percentage.

C Ronny Turiaf is the ideal tag-team partner for offensive-minded starter Biedrins, specializing in playing aggressively and blocking shots. He was a Warrior rarity last season -- one of the league leaders in blocks per game (2.1).

MEDICAL WATCH:

G Monta Ellis (sprained left ankle) missed part of the Warriors' first preseason game, but returned to practice the next day and has been 100 percent ever since. It's the same ankle on which he had major surgery last summer.

F Anthony Randolph (sore back) missed a couple of practices after taking a hard fall in a preseason game against the Clippers. He's expected to start on opening night.

F Brandan Wright (torn labrum) underwent surgery Oct. 9. His recovery time is estimated to be six months, so there's a good chance he won't play at all in 2009-10.

F Kelenna Azubuike (sprained left ankle) missed one preseason game and a few practices here and there, but is considered 100 percent on the eve of the regular season.

C Ronny Turiaf (sore left knee) has been held out of some practices and games in the preseason as a precautionary measure, but it's not expected to affect his regular-season playing time.

G C.J. Watson (sprained medial collateral ligament) returned to practice almost immediately after suffering the injury early in training camp. He's wearing a brace on his right knee.

G Acie Law (sprained left ankle) has missed some practice time, but it shouldn't affect his availability for opening night.

F Devean George (sore left knee) has missed some practice time, but it shouldn't affect his availability for opening night.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 18, 2009

 

 
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