Just posted article about Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:59 am
Warriors Fans-

I just posted an article about Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins on the website www.emptythebench.com. It's all about them and the rest of the best players in the NBA 21 years of age and under. Check it out, I think you'll like. Theres also a bunch of other regular content I do for the site including game recaps, MLB, NFL and NBA news, fantasy analysis and the occasional bit of sports humor. We're relatively new, so if you like the site be sure to let people know about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:22 am
Thanks, empty. Nice article and analysis. I had not known that the ws lineup with monta, ab, jax, harrington and pietrus was the first ever no-college 5. You make a case for Bynum, and obviously the lakers agree with you, since they wouldn't trade him for Kidd. I would have to give the edge to Biedrins - he is essentially the same age as Bynum and is doing better on a worse team, but like I said, you make a case. I see Monta as a cross between Iverson and Chris Paul, definitely THE steal of the 2005 draft.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:55 am
Cool article, cool site.

But c'mon, look at the lines side by side. Biedrins is the better center. And I am most certainly not biased in any matter. :mrgreen:
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:08 pm
Nice article and site, Empty... and, btw, welcome to the board.

I'm with Thunder regarding the center, tho. Biedrins has done more than Bynum so far (maybe a bit of homerism in the pick, but whatever)..., in fact, you can even make a case for Al Jefferson at 4 and Howard at 5. Bynum looks like a weak pick right now, he's pretty unproven yet (and Gerald Green is even less proven).

Some of them are pretty bold picks at this point. Not saying it ain't going to happen... but first they'll need to show something.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:12 pm
Nice article! I like the site as well. Nice to see Monta and Andris getting more and more recognition.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 pm
Side by side, using the stat line, Biedrins is perhaps the better center, at least when looking at the year as a whole. There are, however, other factors to look at:

Bynum is in his first year. Though Biedrins did not really play last year, it was additional time to work on transitioning to the NBA game that Bynum has not had. Bynum also was not the starting center at the beginning of the year, and may not be later this year. He has elevated his game while he has player more, but he is the backup. Remember that Kwame guy?

Empty was looking not only at current stat lines, but growth potential, and even placed more emphasis on growth. (Look at the point position as he explained there.) Both Bynum and Biedrins have made huge strides this year. But, which will continue to improve? Biedrins, an undersized center that has trained as a PF until now in a system that has no idea how to run any kind of half-court, or the prototype large center, with a head coach that has more championships than anyone else, a position coach (Kareem) that was one of the best ever at the position, in a system that LIVES in half-court, FOCUSING on a strong big man in the paint? Money on Bynum increasing his game over Biedrins.

Hype factor is huge in the league. Bynum plays for the Lakers, Biedrins for the W's. How many national games did we get this year? The Lakers? Bynum will be seen by more fans, analysts, and refs, then Biedrins. He will get more calls his way, and more non-calls. Biendrins, despite his skill and improvement this year, is the (practical) leader in fouls in the entire league. That's not going to change anytime soon, and is an important factor in the game.

Personally, I love Biedrins, and I'd love to see him actually included in a game plan. (EDIT: Actually, I'd love for there to BE a game plan.) But, at least in the near future, Bynum will OUT-PRODUCE Biedrins.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:33 pm
I agree that the hype and growth factor both play a huge role in this.

But Bynum is in his second year. I'm not sure that they will bring Bynum off the bench when Kwame comes back. I don't understand why people are still high on Kwame - the kid is a bust.

But c'mon - who knows what will happen down the line. Biedrins could never grow muscle and keep this kind of a level up for the rest of his career. Or he could add some body and end up somewhere between Bosh and Amare. Bynum as well could continue to increase his game and end up a poor man's Ewing or he might plateau and be a west coast Eddy Curry. The thing is no one can know for sure.

The one thing that is for sure is this - 10.3, 9.7, and 2.0 is better than 8.5, 6.6, and 1.6. Both these guys can blow up into something special very easily or both can stay the same. The point is that right now Biedrins is further ahead than Bynum and is leading the race. There is no definitive way to say that one of these guys will definitely be better than the other, so you take who is further along at this point.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:56 pm
drazz wrote:Side by side, using the stat line, Biedrins is perhaps the better center, at least when looking at the year as a whole. There are, however, other factors to look at:

Bynum is in his first year. Though Biedrins did not really play last year, it was additional time to work on transitioning to the NBA game that Bynum has not had. Bynum also was not the starting center at the beginning of the year, and may not be later this year. He has elevated his game while he has player more, but he is the backup. Remember that Kwame guy?

Bynum's in his 2nd year, dude. He and Biedrins are only one year apart. That's not a huge difference, man.

drazz wrote:Empty was looking not only at current stat lines, but growth potential, and even placed more emphasis on growth. (Look at the point position as he explained there.) Both Bynum and Biedrins have made huge strides this year. But, which will continue to improve? Biedrins, an undersized center that has trained as a PF until now in a system that has no idea how to run any kind of half-court, or the prototype large center, with a head coach that has more championships than anyone else, a position coach (Kareem) that was one of the best ever at the position, in a system that LIVES in half-court, FOCUSING on a strong big man in the paint? Money on Bynum increasing his game over Biedrins.

Actually, if you watch Andris Biedrins, you'd see he was trained as a center... but played PF early in his career because Foyle was the starter and we were looking for a PF, not another center. By the way... 6'11" is undersized...? The average NBA center is 7'0" tall. Biedrins is only lacking ONE inch, man. Right now, it looks like Bynum will because the better scorer, purely because Andris doesn't shoot outside of the circle, but Biedrins is a much better defender and rebounding is up in the air at this point. Bynum and Biedrins have identical amounts of potential; the only difference is that Biedrins is ONE, single year ahead of Bynum.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:24 am
Actually, if you watch Andris Biedrins, you'd see he was trained as a center... but played PF early in his career because Foyle was the starter and we were looking for a PF, not another center. By the way... 6'11" is undersized...? The average NBA center is 7'0" tall. Biedrins is only lacking ONE inch, man. Right now, it looks like Bynum will because the better scorer, purely because Andris doesn't shoot outside of the circle, but Biedrins is a much better defender and rebounding is up in the air at this point. Bynum and Biedrins have identical amounts of potential; the only difference is that Biedrins is ONE, single year ahead of Bynum.


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Alright, my years were off, but the difference is still a year in Biendrins favor. AND, Biedrins has also been the started for the whole year. That all means more experience so far.

Yes, Biedrins has been trained as a center, at least for the last two years. But, though his youth years, he was traied as a PF in Latvia teams. He himself this year talked about the difficulty in having changed positions. Which, actually, favors his growth potential, since he still has more to figure out in the position.

Undersized is not just for height, people. He is thin. Listed at 245, but that's being pretty kind I would think. Just going by listed weight, Bynum's got 40 pounds on him, and Biendrins will never match that. I realize that's not his game, and I like the mobility Biedrins has, but he will have difficulty on the defensive end against those large 4 and 5's he will be put against that want to back hi down.

They may have similar amounts of potential, but the real issue is that Bynum will continue to improve because of the team he is with. As long as Nellie is running the W's, there will be no effort spent on the center, no plays set for Biedrins, no specialists brought in to train this great kid. Lakers, on the other hand, with Jackson's Triangle Offense, will spend a tremendous amount of time and energy in imprving his young center. Biedrins is shooting 61% now; how can that improve? Bynum is at 55% and scoring nearly as much now, in his first year of real play. He WILL improve and continue to get more touches than Biedrins.[/b]
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:44 am
drazz wrote: Bynum is at 55% and scoring nearly as much now, in his first year of real play. He WILL improve and continue to get more touches than Biedrins


I doubt that. I've got nothing against Bynum... but he won't get more touches for a while. Actually, his minutes will go down once Kwame comes back.

He's not in a position in which he can be considered a reliable contributor (yet). He'll have good games and stinkers. Just take a look at his line in their last game:

2 points, 3 boards, 2 blocks, shooting 1-2 in 33 minutes. Those are Jim McIlvane's numbers...

I think the kid will be a good one... I'm just not sure how good yet. And as long as the Lakers are playing for something else (playoffs in this case), he won't be given the chance to become a key part of their offense. Not in the next two years, at least.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:48 am
drazz wrote:. . . AND, Biedrins has also been the started for the whole year. That all means more experience so far.


Biedrins has started 49 games. Bynum has started 40. Not that huge of a difference.

Undersized is not just for height, people. He is thin. Listed at 245, but that's being pretty kind I would think. Just going by listed weight, Bynum's got 40 pounds on him, and Biendrins will never match that. I realize that's not his game, and I like the mobility Biedrins has, but he will have difficulty on the defensive end against those large 4 and 5's he will be put against that want to back hi down.


He is admittedly undersized in terms of beef, but it's not like it is impossible to add weight. Jermaine O'Neal, KG, Dirk, and Yao were thinner than AB at his age and they managed to beef up.

They may have similar amounts of potential, but the real issue is that Bynum will continue to improve because of the team he is with. As long as Nellie is running the W's, there will be no effort spent on the center, no plays set for Biedrins, no specialists brought in to train this great kid. Lakers, on the other hand, with Jackson's Triangle Offense, will spend a tremendous amount of time and energy in imprving his young center. Biedrins is shooting 61% now; how can that improve? Bynum is at 55% and scoring nearly as much now, in his first year of real play. He WILL improve and continue to get more touches than Biedrins.[/b]


Who's to say that Nellie will be coaching the Warriors for another 2-3 years? Who's to say that Jackson will do the same for the Lakers? I mean, the Lakers almost pulled the trigger for Kidd with Bynum in the deal, so he isn't exactly handcuffed to the triangle.

And as far as improving on 61% - yes, you can improve on that. You can improve 39% to be exact. It seems counter intuitive to knock AB for shooting 61% because he can't improve it as much as Bynum can from 55%. He is shooting 61% and Bynum is not - don't knock the guy because he does something as good as anyone else in the league already - who's to say Bynum will ever shoot 60% for a season? Thing is you go with what you know and what you can see and clearly Biedrins is a better player this year.

"The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential" - Calvin Coolidge

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:29 pm
Hey-

Glad you all enjoyed the site and the article, and I'm happy it sparked some good conversation. I have a bit of a man-crush on Monta Ellis, so expect to see more on him.

When Don Nelson took over the Warriors, I knew they would be a run-and-gun team with a ton of possessions per game, so I paid attention to their box scores early and ended up with Biedrins and Ellis on three of my fantasy teams. I'm a big fan of both of them. So there was definitely no disrespect for Andris intended, but I think all of you guys knew that.

Just to explain, there is no doubt Biedrins is playing better than Bynum right now. I don't dispute that. But in watching the two, I see more potential from Bynum on the offensive end of the floor. From my perspective, he seems to have more of a prototypical NBA center's frame (40 lbs heavier, as somebody pointed out). He also looks like he will fill out a little easier than Biedrins. Thats going to be huge for his post-up game. He also seems to be more comfortable with the basketball, in terms of ball handling and passing. Again, this isn't anything scientific, just what I see when I watch the two.

Also, being in an up-tempo offense like the Warriors have, there are a lot more total posessions, meaning a lot more opportunities for rebounds and put backs. That skews the stats a little. In terms of defense, I see Biedrins as more of a help defender, somebody who howevers around the basket and blocks shots when his teammates make mistakes. Bynum, when he matures, will be able to body up just about anybody not named Dwight in the NBA.

Just some clarification. Obviously, there is no right answer, just opinions. Biedrins could have a much better career than Bynum, but I personally see more potential in Bynum for the long run. Great discussion, by the way.

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