(01-26) 21:34 PST -- Any reservations Corey Maggette might have had about coming off the bench have followed his hamstring troubles right out the door.
Not only is the Warriors' forward fine with being a sixth man, but Maggette told assistant Keith Smart last week that he actually prefers his reserve role.
"Even though we had injuries and it was clear that he probably would be starting," coach Don Nelson said, "so that's good."
Maggette has come off the bench for the past five games and seven of 10 since returning from his monthlong injury layoff, and the 10th-year forward is thriving with his health and happiness in check.
His numbers have increased across the board despite fewer minutes, and with a proven scorer now in reserve, Golden State's offense - still in adjustment mode with the return of Monta Ellis - has taken on a more balanced feel.
"Some people have got to make sacrifices," said Maggette, who is averaging 22.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30 minutes as a reserve. "I can still score and do whatever I do coming off the bench. It's not a big deal. We can ease the pain of people arguing and somebody's got to be the big man and that's fine."
It's a role that seems ideal for Maggette - a spark off the bench similar to Jason Terry in Dallas, where the Warriors play Wednesday - but it's one the former Clippers player didn't fully embraced under L.A. coach Mike Dunleavy.
Asked about Maggette's new attitude, Dunleavy was typically blunt.
"I'm not surprised he's willing to do it," he said before Sunday's 107-92 loss to the Warriors. "I think what was happening with us, it was all about getting paid. ... So much is about the money, but once somebody gets paid, then it's easier to say, 'You know what? This is good for the team, try it.' "
To which Maggette responded, "Hey, that's just his opinion, that's all I can say."
For now, his play is doing the necessary talking.
The Warriors signed him to score, and Maggette's efficiency has been unquestionable of late. He's routinely scoring 20-plus points on half as many shot attempts, highlighted by his 20 points on eight shots against the Clippers.
Maggette says his role isn't any different off the bench, but there are undeniable benefits that come with joining games in progress. He's likely to get more touches and isolation plays called for him, and the Warriors are more likely to be in the bonus on fouls, with any contact on drives then resulting in free-throw tries.
That's usually an automatic two points for Maggette, though his sore shooting hand resembled something out of a horror movie before Sunday's game, covered first with a glove-like layer of wax, then wrapped in a plastic bag.
It was simply part of the forward's treatment routine, much like icing his lower back or hamstrings. Maggette was given practice off Monday to help rest a sore back.
With Maggette's health a priority, Nelson sees the sixth-man role as way to curb playing time - Maggette is averaging 30 minutes off the bench and hasn't played more than 37 since his return - while maximizing efficiency.
"Our team is finding a rhythm," Maggette said. "We're hitting shots. And I think a lot of that has to do with being home. We're starting to get guys back. We're playing harder in practice. We're starting to get our timing. We're still trying to figure out a lot of things, but our chemistry is coming together."
Plenty in reserve
Comparing Corey Maggette's statistics this season as a starter and when he comes off the bench:
Rebounds 5.8 7.1
Assists ----1.8 2.3
FG% ------.447 .570
FT% ------.809 .878
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