The season's early surprises, from 1-15

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» Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:01 pm
2. Anthony Morrow, Warriors
The undrafted rookie from Georgia Tech had one of the most utterly unexpected performances in league history when he tallied 37 points and 11 boards in his first NBA start. He followed it up with 25 points on just 12 shots in Golden State's win over Portland on Tuesday, and scouts I talked to say he's a legit NBA player who is able to shoot off the dribble and rebounds well for his size.

OK, now for the downside: He won't shoot 64 percent all year. He has racked up his numbers against two of the league's worst defensive teams. And he doesn't create offense for anyone else.

Still, he's quite a summer league find for Golden State. From what we've seen so far, he shapes up as a poor man's Michael Redd. It's hard to believe every team in the league passed on him twice in June.

6. Andris Biedrins, Warriors
You know a center is good when not even Don Nelson can find a way to keep him on the bench. Biedrins is shooting "only" 53.7 percent from the floor thus far -- a big drop from his 60.7 percent career mark -- but is putting together a career year nonetheless by being a beast on the boards and a more active participant in the offense.

The Latvian lefty leads the NBA in rebounding at 14.4 per game, but his expanded offensive game has been as big a revelation. The athletic 6-11 center has been encouraged to take opposing bigs off the dribble, and occasionally he's been given the ball in unusual positions for a big man -- such as a dribble handoff play against Minnesota that he took to the rack for a score.

The only cautionary flag is his stubbornly high foul rate. Biedrins has managed to average 35.6 minutes per game despite fouling once every 8.5 minutes, primarily because he's avoiding the first-half fouls that can send him to the bench quickly. It remains to be seen whether he can keep fouling at that rate and still play so many minutes. Rarely do players average more than a foul per nine minutes and play more than 30 minutes per game. ... ses-081120
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» Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:16 pm

The same guy that has the Spurs out of the playoffs and behind us and Memphis in his playoffs' odds page.

I still have to decide if this guy is a joke or a shame for the media.

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