Slim J-Rich back from rehab in good shape, but rusty.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:45 am
Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

While several of his teammates went to Hawaii last weekend, Jason Richardson bunkered down at the Warriors' practice facility in Oakland.

"That was my beach," Richardson said as he pointed toward a pile of mats. "Got some sunlight from those light fixtures. Did some cross-country running on the treadmill.

"Had myself a vacation right here," he joked.

Richardson was putting the finishing touches on his injury rehab during the All-Star break, and when his seven-week layoff finally ends tonight, it will be a sleeker, faster player who retakes the court.

The guard says he weighs in at 219 pounds -- the lightest he's been since high school and about 15 pounds less than when he broke his right hand on Dec. 30 -- thanks to an intense workout regimen and healthier diet.

The results have been noticeable.

"He's ready to roll," coach Don Nelson said after practice Tuesday. "A little basketball rusty, but his conditioning is great."

Richardson has played in only 23 games this season because of injuries to his right knee and hand, but figures to have the freshest legs now as the Warriors begin their post All-Star break push against Memphis tonight.

Point guard Baron Davis is still out following surgery to his left knee, and Monta Ellis and Mickael Pietrus have been in and out of the lineup. Richardson's long-awaited return should only buoy a team that dressed nine players for its last two games, even if it's unknown how he'll be worked in.

Richardson anticipates playing limited minutes "off the bat for two or three weeks" as he readjusts to game conditions, and while Nelson originally said that the guard would assume his starting duties upon returning, he remained coy when the subject was brought up again Tuesday.

Ellis figures to handle the point as long as Davis is out, while Al Harrington and Andris Biedrins have been the primary frontcourt starters. That leaves Nelson to choose between Richardson, Stephen Jackson and Pietrus for the other two starting spots.

With the 2 and 3 positions fairly interchangeable in Nellie-ball, players aren't anticipating any squabbles over playing time in the near future. Both Jackson and Richardson said they would be fine either starting or coming off the bench.

And Jackson, who says he's a fan of Nelson's tendency to stick with the hot hand during games, even suggested that it would be in the team's best interest to defer to Richardson.

"I think a lot of guys are going to have to step back on their shots and kind of open up and embrace J-Rich," Jackson said. "Let him back and start getting a feel of the game, because in order for us to reach our goal, we're definitely going to need J-Rich on the court."

Briefly: In keeping with their season-long theme of getting a player back while losing another, forward Matt Barnes will likely sit out tonight's game with a strained left hamstring. "It gave out yesterday in practice and I tried to keep going and feels like it's going to give out every time I run on it," said Barnes, who says the pain is concentrated behind his left knee. ... Nelson said rookie Patrick O'Bryant would remain with the team through the weekend, with a decision on whether to send him back to the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam due before the Warriors depart for their five-game road trip Monday.
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Warriors tonight
Opponent: Memphis Grizzlies

Where: Oracle Arena

When: 7:30 p.m.

TV/Radio: FSNBA/680-AM

Welcome back J Rich :D
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:16 am
Good to hear that JRich is working well to get into shape. He still is not thin at 219 pounds but that muscle is an asset!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:40 am
O.G. Broe wrote:The guard says he weighs in at 219 pounds -- the lightest he's been since high school and about 15 pounds less than when he broke his right hand on Dec. 30 -- thanks to an intense workout regimen and healthier diet.

The results have been noticeable.

"He's ready to roll," coach Don Nelson said after practice Tuesday.


O.G. Broe wrote:"I think a lot of guys are going to have to step back on their shots and kind of open up and embrace J-Rich," Jackson said. "Let him back and start getting a feel of the game, because in order for us to reach our goal, we're definitely going to need J-Rich on the court."


:D I am so stoked. I can't wait for the game tonight!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:56 am
O.G. Broe wrote:And Jackson, who says he's a fan of Nelson's tendency to stick with the hot hand during games, even suggested that it would be in the team's best interest to defer to Richardson.

"I think a lot of guys are going to have to step back on their shots and kind of open up and embrace J-Rich," Jackson said. "Let him back and start getting a feel of the game, because in order for us to reach our goal, we're definitely going to need J-Rich on the court."


Gotta love SJax's unselfishness
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:29 pm
O.G. Broe wrote: Nelson said rookie Patrick O'Bryant would remain with the team through the weekend, with a decision on whether to send him back to the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam due before the Warriors depart for their five-game road trip Monday.


This could mean a trade is coming... (not necessarily involving J-Rich though) Maybe they called POB up to sit on the bench while players switch teams.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:52 pm
JayPat wrote:
O.G. Broe wrote: Nelson said rookie Patrick O'Bryant would remain with the team through the weekend, with a decision on whether to send him back to the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam due before the Warriors depart for their five-game road trip Monday.


This could mean a trade is coming... (not necessarily involving J-Rich though) Maybe they called POB up to sit on the bench while players switch teams.

Excellent point, John. This could be the calm before the storm.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:34 pm
We shall see. Deadline is 3 PM tomorrow, so all I can hope is that Jrich doesn't get traded. Though I just don't like POB being traded so early. He's yet to show us his true potential, I'd like to give him at least a year. Now if we're trading POB w/other W's for quality, I'll take it... depending on the quality it is.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:50 am
Sure was good seeing J Rich out there throwing down oops from Jax, grabbing boards & bringing real Warrior spirit :D
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:24 am
I hope he proves wrong everybody that was talking about trading him... His injury is the only reason we're not 7th in the west right now.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:16 am
TMC wrote:I hope he proves wrong everybody that was talking about trading him... His injury is the only reason we're not 7th in the west right now.

Completely agree.

A Warriors lineup with a healthy Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, and Monta Ellis almost seems unfair.
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