Azubuike: Is he five-position player?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:56 pm
http://www.insidebayarea.com/sports/ci_13131205

Ideally, Warriors swingman Kelenna Azubuike would like to start at small forward, or even shooting guard.

He'd also like to play without pain in his left knee and shoot 48.2 percent from 3-point range, as he did after November last season. But he knows ideals don't always fly in the Warriors' world.

"Knowing (coach Don Nelson), I could end up playing all five positions," Azubuike said Thursday while at Sea World in San Diego, creating an ideal day for a group of kids from R.O.C.K. (Real Options for City Kids) in San Francisco.

"With the Warriors, we're always unpredictable. You never know what can happen, that's why you have to keep making sure you get better. We haven't really made a major move like I thought we would. It's hard to figure out what they're going to do."

Either way, Azubuike said he's excited about the new season and is expecting a big year. He set career highs across the board last season, including 14.4 points on 46.4 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds in 32.1 minutes.

Azubuike, who is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and in his fourth season, said he's spent the offseason preparing for anything. He's been lifting weights, working on his post-up game, improving his ball-handling, crafting a go-to move and perfecting his midrange game.

He has spent the last month in Chicago working with Michael Jordan's former trainer Tim Grover, who is known for his work with knees (Gilbert Arenas, Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O'Neal
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are there this summer, too). Azubuike said he will return to Chicago and finish training before coming to camp.

He said he expects to be healthy. He also expects to see some time at power forward, so he's preparing himself "to take a beating."

Toward the end of last season, Nelson said the Warriors weren't good enough as a small team, so he would go big this season. He penciled swingman Stephen Jackson at the shooting guard spot, while second-year protege Anthony Randolph and a healthy Brandan Wright, Nelson said, sewed up the power forward position.

That sounds good for Azubuike, who would be left to share the small forward minutes with Corey Maggette, who came off the bench most of last season.

One small problem, though.

The Warriors drafted guard Stephen Curry, whom Nelson loves. He said Curry could play right away, maybe even start. If Curry is as good as advertised, it is likely he will play with guard Monta Ellis, which pushes Jackson back to small forward and Azubuike back to absorbing elbows from 6-9, 250-pound monsters.

Still, he can hope.

"My natural position is where I think I can help the team the most," Azubuike said. "But wherever coach puts me, I'll be ready."
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:43 am
The mere idea of Azubuike playing any other position than SG or Sf is just ridiculous.


Of course, with Nellie on the bench, anything can happen, so we can't rule out the chance of him having to play PF at times. Still is a retarded concept, tho.


In any case, I'd like to see more of him this upcoming season. We still don't know Azu's ceiling, because he hasn't been in the game enough. We know perfectly well what Regrette offers to the team (basically scoring and trips to the line), but I've the feeling that Azu would be able to do a lot more with Regrette's minutes.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:42 am
TMC wrote:The mere idea of Azubuike playing any other position than SG or Sf is just ridiculous.


Of course, with Nellie on the bench, anything can happen, so we can't rule out the chance of him having to play PF at times. Still is a retarded concept, tho.


In any case, I'd like to see more of him this upcoming season. We still don't know Azu's ceiling, because he hasn't been in the game enough. We know perfectly well what Regrette offers to the team (basically scoring and trips to the line), but I've the feeling that Azu would be able to do a lot more with Regrette's minutes.


I agree. Azubuike has a ton of potential, IMO. We need him because he is an all-around kind of guy, something that is really missing in the lineup right now.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:11 pm
We need him because he's aggressive on the boards and great at it for a guy his size.
His 3 percentage alone spreads the floor.
His defense on Kobe in our win in LA was outstanding.. (was it 08 season or 09?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3pIsA0Q ... re=related

Steph Curry fakin Chris Anderson out of his jock: awesome!
look on Turiaf's face: priceless
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:58 pm
anyone else read that as "I have no faith in FO or Coach"

Thats how it came off to me

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:51 am
Yeah I see that too Quazza, the coach is mis-using Azu, he could be a beast as a SG. The front office not making any moves. When the players start saying things we think, that just proves more the obvious.

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