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News » Surprise - Turiaf draws apparent start in opener

Surprise - Turiaf draws apparent start in opener

Surprise - Turiaf draws apparent start in opener Coach Don Nelson did almost everything he could to keep tonight's lineup a secret, but he forgot to advise his players not to mention that Ronny Turiaf is going to be a "surprise" starter.

As the players trickled off the practice courts at the team's Oakland facility Tuesday, each said Turiaf was starting. Minutes earlier, Nelson had refused to release his lineup for the season-opener against Houston, despite being asked seven different ways.

"I'd rather that you go to the game and see who starts," Nelson said. "There are 15 guys on our team, and it will be five of those guys. ... Our opposition reads the paper, and, in the morning at breakfast, they could have a better clue.

"Why would we do that?"

Nelson named Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins as starters going into the preseason and added Stephen Curry to the mix this week. Randolph, however, will be limited as he is still slowed by a sore lower back, so Nelson said earlier this week that Corey Maggette would be the starting power forward.

That changed again Monday, when Turiaf had his first of consecutive days working strictly with the starting unit. During the preseason, he started only against the Lakers in the Warriors' penultimate exhibition game Oct. 20.

"We're trying to do something special here, and I feel that I can be a big part of it," said Turiaf, who didn't play with Biedrins much last season because neither big man has a threatening long-range jumper. "I still have to really work on my jump shot to become more efficient, but I feel like I bring something else.

"I bring a Basketball IQ and I know how to find spots to succeed or help my teammates succeed. What I'm lacking in some ways, I make up in other ways."

The Biedrins-Turiaf frontcourt had mixed results against the Lakers. The Warriors quickly fell behind 17-4, but in the third quarter, the tandem seemed to find some chemistry as the Warriors took their first lead of the game.

"I think it will be easier to contain and guard my man knowing that I've got Biedrins and Ronny back there to start the game," Jackson said. "I can put more defensive pressure on my man, because I know I've got help."

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Added: October 28, 2009


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