By Marcus Thompson II, CONTRA COSTA TIMES
OAKLAND - With Los Angeles Lakers post Chris Mihm's forearm in his back, Warriors center Adonal Foyle suddenly spinned toward the baseline.
He tiptoed the end line -- as best as his lumbering 6-foot-11, 285-pound frame could -- and flipped in a reverse layup with his right hand, Mihm fouling him from behind in the process.
What was that about the Warriors' lack of inside scoring?
Warriors coach Mike Montgomery and a couple of the players have mentioned the team's lack of a low-post scoring option. Fans have wondered aloud if the Warriors have a chance to move up in the draft to get Utah center Andrew Bogut. Analysts suggest a trade for such back-to-the-basket types as New Orleans center Jamaal Magloire or Portland forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
But where does all of this leave Foyle, whose five-year, $40.6 million deal figures to be hard to trade?
Montgomery chose not to address the low post specifically after Tuesday's practice but said he and Warriors management would leave no stone unturned.
"When we sit down and evaluate at the end of the season, what will be the one thing that would clearly make us a better basketball team?" Montgomery said. "Do we need a shooter? Do we need another (ball) handler? Do we need size? Do we need strength? Do we need maturity? What is it that would make the difference? That's what we'll do when the season's over.
"I think there's a pretty good understanding of what we could do to be better, what kinds of things we need to do. But at the same time, we like the pieces that we do have. It's not like we're fearful going into a season with this group intact."
The common analysis is that the Warriors need someone who can provide consistent offense in the paint. They have become one of the league's best up-tempo offenses since acquiring point guard Baron Davis on Feb. 24, but some say they need a presence in the paint -- especially in close games against good teams.
But there also is a school of thought that says the Warriors should keep the current core intact and try to sprint to the playoffs. They wouldn't need Foyle to score as much, and he can concentrate on doing what he does best -- defending, hustling and rebounding.
"Phoenix does that. Seattle does that. Teams are running now," Warriors power forward Troy Murphy said. "(Some teams have) guys that are skilled guys with heavy bangers inside that get rebounds and block shots, and (Foyle) fits that mold perfectly. He's not the type of guy that'll demand the ball and want the ball and be upset if he doesn't get it. He goes out and does his job every night.
"It's frustrating to hear that we need somebody down there. I think Adonal does a great job. He covers my butt a lot on defense. He goes out and rebounds and really hustles hard. I think he's perfect."
Foyle's contributions go well beyond his averages of 4.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is the Warriors' best interior defender, although he has struggled to keep up with athletic big men. He's the franchise's all-time leader in blocks (962 to date). He is also the Warriors' most powerful finisher, often assaulting the rim with his one-hand power dunks.
Foyle, who has had difficulty catching the ball, has said he feels like he can be an offensive option in the post. He has gotten better with his shot out to 10 feet and is developing a reliable hook from close range.
"I think we've got to try to have a little bit more confidence throwing the ball to the block a little bit more," Foyle said. "You know, inside out. I think all our big men have shown that they're willing to pass. As we move forward we're going to have to go to the blocks."
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:43 pm
Location: Union City/Torrance, CA
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These last paragraphs are key to me. I know Foyle is a good defender (ie shot blocking specialist). Davis, from what I saw doesn't like to telegraph passes and does a lot of razzle dazzle. If Foyle is going to show that he is going to be an offensive option in the blocks, he has to learn how to "catch that egg" better and shoot his FTs better.
"The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers anything else."
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