Biedrins ready to play larger role

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:00 pm
Biedrins ready to play larger role
NELSON CALLS CENTER HIS `BEST BIG MAN'

By Geoff Lepper

LOS ANGELES - While players such as Adonal Foyle, Ike Diogu, Anthony Roberson and Matt Barnes all tried to prove themselves to Warriors Coach Don Nelson on Friday, a healthy Andris Biedrins never got off the bench in Golden State's 116-106 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

In past years, that might have been an alarming turn of events for Biedrins. This season, however, the third-year center has no reason to worry. He's already shown to Nelson that he's ready to be a key component of this team.

``He doesn't have to prove that to me. I already know that,'' Nelson said. ``He's probably my best big man. He'll play a lot.''

It's a just reward for Biedrins, who clocked in as much time at the team's downtown Oakland headquarters this summer as any Warrior, and also converted to the church of good eating. The 20-year-old Latvian has dropped roughly 15 pounds of fat while gaining twice that much in muscle mass. Warriors strength coach John Murray said Biedrins had dropped his body fat from 14 percent a year ago to just 5.

``He's playing hard, playing good defense, rebounding and doing what he needs to do to stay on the floor. He's out there to prove a point,'' Warriors captain Jason Richardson said. ``He's definitely gained maturity as a player. He's listening a lot more and his body's more physical. He's gotten stronger.''

Biedrins, 6-foot-11, has also gotten quicker as a result of those changes, a fact that gets put to good use constantly in Nelson's new system.

``I don't know if he knew coach (Nelson) was going to be here when he slimmed down, but it's a good thing he did that,'' guard Monta Ellis said. ``If you're running the break, just you and him, you don't think, `Well, I've got to lay this up because he's not running.' He's always going to be there.''

Biedrins has consistently impressed Nelson, who gushed over him following a 6-for-6 shooting effort with seven rebounds in 18 minutes during Thursday's victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

``That guy, wow,'' Nelson said. ``Oh my goodness. He and a couple of other guys played well and carried us to a win. That's how good he was.''

How good he can be, and how much of an impact he can make, depends on a few factors. Troy Murphy -- whom Nelson exempted from the ``big man'' category that Biedrins leads, saying that Murphy was ``a 4 turned 5'' -- is still starting at center, and there's no sign that's going to change soon.

Also, there's that little problem with free-throw shooting: 30.6 percent last season, 1 for 7 during this exhibition season. Nelson expects that to be a long-range reclamation project.

``I don't expect that it's going to happen this year,'' Nelson said. ``It's going to be a year or two before maybe he gets it, but we're going to keep working every day with him. That's going to definitely hold him back from being a terrific player. I can drop-kick in free throws better than he can.''

• The Warriors pulled away in the fourth quarter Friday, outscoring the Clippers by 11 points in that period to improve to 4-0 in the exhibition season.

Diogu had 10 points in the period to lead the charge, and finished with 16. Dajuan Wagner was the top scorer with 23 points, and Ellis added 15 points and 10 assists.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:32 am
That's what I've been saying for a while. Biedrins is going to be a terrific player for us... and he would be this season if not for the free throws and foul trouble. That's the only reason he's not starting for this team.

We have to keep in mind that he's only 20 years old. If he stops fouling that muc, he'll be ready to start and be a force (on the boards and defense) in two years.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:37 am
Lets hope nobody else offers him a contract. If so, the Warriors would break the bank to keep him (and rightfully so)... but probably lose Pietrus, Ellis, and Diogu in the process. If we can keep Biedrins a secret until his contract season (or, hell, sign him to an extension), we're in the clear.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:50 am
I always liked Biedrins and hope he does stay here.

Signing him to an extension now would probably be the best thing because he can only get better and that means he'll only ask for more the later it gets
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:55 am
I agree. But then you'd have uptempo waiting for him to fail so he could bash Mullin again. :wink:
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:35 am
migya wrote:I always liked Biedrins and hope he does stay here.

Signing him to an extension now would probably be the best thing because he can only get better and that means he'll only ask for more the later it gets


He signed his contract before the new CBA, so he still has two years left in his contract... there's no need to rush for an extension. We can work that the next offseason.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:04 pm
Next offseason... at the latest.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:20 pm
#32 wrote:Next offseason... at the latest.



Just like with Murphy and JRich, signing Biedrins early would be the best thing and likely cheaper
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:21 am
migya wrote:
#32 wrote:Next offseason... at the latest.



Just like with Murphy and JRich, signing Biedrins early would be the best thing and likely cheaper


Nobody can't be signed until they're in the last year of their contract. We can't sign him to anything till the next offseason.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:55 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:
#32 wrote:Next offseason... at the latest.



Just like with Murphy and JRich, signing Biedrins early would be the best thing and likely cheaper


Nobody can't be signed until they're in the last year of their contract. We can't sign him to anything till the next offseason.




Next offseason it is then :)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:02 pm
this is good, i love his energy and nose for the ball. he could turn out to be a stud with time and polish. i think i read somewhere that he can hit free throws pretty well in practice, but its the game time ft's that he has a big problem with?
"Losing is inevitably close to winning," Guber said. "They're inches apart. Drama. If you have drama, you've got a ticket to sell." "They're not real fans," Lacob said. "They don't have season tickets."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:45 pm
You read right. He his about 80 out of 100 in practice.
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