It seems like long ago that Golden State Warriors center Andris Biedrins signed a six-year $54 million contract extension and with incentives up to $62 million. The move made sense because he was coming off one of his best seasons in the NBA and at 22 years of age he had plenty of opportunity to expand his game.
After the first year of the contract though he missed 20 games due to injury he looked great and had his best statistical season in the league averaging 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1.5 blocks, on 57.8 percent shooting, 55.1 percent from the free throw line and recorded 28 double-doubles.
The last three seasons have not gone well for Biedrins has he has missed a total of 91 games due to injury and has lost confidence in himself and in 2011-2012 he had his worst season statistically of his career as he averaged 1.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in only 15.7 minutes of action.
Another issue that has plagued him throughout his career is that he is constantly in foul trouble though most of the foul calls again him aren’t even good calls. He is the only center in the league that can stand straight have his arms up and have the offensive player make the contact and still get a whistle blown against him.
While it seems like all hope is lost for him there is a game that happened on November 26, 2010 against the Memphis Grizzlies. David Lee did not play and starting in his place that night Dan Gadzuric who didn’t get many minutes and Jeff Adrien got a bulk of the minutes.
Though the Golden State Warriors lost, Biedrins had his best game of his career as he went 13-15 from the field, 2-4 from the free throw line for a total of 28 point he grabbed seven offensive rebounds and 14 defensive rebounds for a total of 21 rebounds, dished out two assists, had two steals and a block in just over 41 minutes.
What’s been disappointing is the coaching since Don Nelson is now long gone. Keith Smart and Mark Jackson did not change the offensive philosophy of the team much and still primarily a team that gets out and scores in transition. That now has to change with Andrew Bogut in the starting line up at center. It means now a more concerted effort to slow the pace down and get the ball into the post are necessary.
Yet, there’s also injury concern with Bogut as over the last few seasons he has missed 50, 17, 13 and 49 games. Which is why a slower pace will benefit the team because it will also allow Biedrins an opportunity in the post and he has always been one of the better passing big men in the league. That night against the Grizzlies made the effort to get him the ball in the post and he had the best game of his career.
Before his recent struggles he was active on the offensive glass, he was excellent at cutting when there was penetration to the basket and he would be found for open looks and he made an impact rebounding the basketball on both ends of the court. His best plays of his career though happened when he was aggressive with the basketball.
One play that showcased this is when he actually brought the ball down the court gave the ball to Stephen Jackson in the high post got the ball right back as he went to the right and a couple dribbles later he posterizes the Denver Nuggets‘ Nene with the right-handed slam and drew a foul for a chance for a three-point play.
Another example of his aggressiveness came against the Phoenix Suns he actually towards the right hand side of the court at the three-point arc he had not dribbled yet because he had just gotten the ball. He faked a pass into the post, dribbled with his left hand, took it to the basket and dunked on Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash.
The question is can the Warriors get any production from him off the bench? Answer is yes. It’s a new season with higher expectations, a more talented roster, deeper bench and a slower pace. Expect from Biedrins off the bench 4-6 points per game, 6-7 rebounds, 1-2 blocks, a steal and 55-58 percent from the floor.
Here are the videos of the two plays:
Thanks to ESPNman1 and Nbalive2k707 for the videos.