Diogu's debut receives plenty of attention - SJ Mercury

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» Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:23 am
Diogu's debut receives plenty of attention

Warriors rookie forward Ike Diogu made a boxer's entrance into Wednesday's game against San Antonio, his NBA debut. Warriors Coach Mike Montgomery gave him a shot, the crowd gave him an ovation, and the Oakland Arena announcer gave him an extra-special introduction.

The Diogu era -- postponed for 12 games because of a broken left hand sustained in the last practice of training camp -- officially began Wednesday with 3:52 left in the first quarter. Diogu, the No. 9 overall pick in the NBA draft, is expected to be the low-post savior for the Warriors. Fans might have to wait awhile before Diogu is unleashed. Montgomery said he wouldn't be able to throw his rookie into the fire right off.

``We'll try to get him some minutes, see how he does,'' Montgomery said. ``He's got to get in game shape.''

Diogu, who protected the broken fourth metacarpal with a padded and finger-less glove, was the first big man off the bench (it's usually Andris Biedrins). He gave up an easy hook to Nazr Mohammed on his first defensive series. But it didn't take Diogu long to show what he can bring. After charging over Robert Horry late in the first quarter, Diogu made a 12-footer from the right side look easy early in the second quarter.

Montgomery took Diogu out with 10:16 left in the second quarter, capping the forward's inaugural stint at 5 minutes, 26 seconds.

• The Warriors are one of five teams that have yet to lose consecutive games this season, joining Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers.

• Spurs point guard Nick Van Exel, who played with the Warriors during the 2003-04 season, was booed when he was introduced early in the second quarter and every time he touched the ball.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercuryn ... 248305.htm

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