Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another Example of Golden State Warriors Mismanagement, Ekpe Udoh Should Be in the D-League

During the offseason Golden State Warriors fans have finally gotten the news that they've been waiting to hear for a long time, the sale of the team was finished. Finally, the Warriors had owners that they could be proud in Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, but now the honey moon period is over and there's frustration with the new ownership.

Though Lacob is asking for more time one has to question the decision making of Guber and Lacob. The Warriors overspent when acquiring David Lee  from the New York Knicks and even with the Warriors over .500 with him in the lineup, he's still been a disappointment. 

He's not rebounding as much as he did in New York and he settles way too much for perimeter jumpers. Another disappointing part to the season was when the Warriors weren't able to make any deals at the trade deadline except to ship Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzurich to the New Jersey Nets for former Warriors Troy Murphy and a second round draft pick. 

Paul George and Brandan Wright - Indiana Pacers v Golden State Warriors

Yet, the biggest example of the mismanagement in the Warriors organization is with Ekpe Udoh. While he says the right things to the media and plays hard, he's just not ready for the NBA. The injury to his wrist did set him back, but even if he were healthy to start the season should have been sent to the NBA Developmental League. 

At the time when Udoh was injured the Warriors had Jeff Adrien who was signed as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in 15 games for the Warriors and averaged 2.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 10.8 minutes. In the games that he did get minutes he showed why he could be effective as he has a wide body and could rebound the basketball. 

When he played over 15 minutes which was four times he averaged 7 points and 7 rebounds. Udoh on the other hand has played in a total of 36 games this season and when he's gotten over 15 minutes 16 times and he's averaged 4.6 points and 4 rebounds. 

Although, four games compared to 16 games is hardly a perfect sample size before tonight's game Udoh was averaging 3 points and 2.5 rebounds. The difference between Udoh and Adrien is night and day! Udoh is athletic and because of that he's able to block shots as he is averaging a block per game, but Adrien on the other hand is able to use his size to his advantage and get on the glass.
Jeff Adrien - Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns

What proves that is the fact that in four games Adrien has games of over six rebounds with a career high of 10 and Udoh's career high is seven and only one other time has he got to six rebounds. So, in 36 games he's been at six or more rebounds once, but Adrien has hit that mark four times in 15 games.  

Rebounding is what the Warriors need and Adrien provides that. Since Keith Smart made the move to bench Andris Biedrins, Udoh has been starting. Against Washington he played 30 minutes and had six points and two rebounds. Biedrins came off the bench and in just 12 minutes had six rebounds and two points.

Beyond the fact that Udoh doesn't rebound well his offensive game is clearly lacking. He doesn't dribble the ball particularly well, when he's in the post he takes way too long to make a move and because of that he has turned the ball over numerous times as a defender will sneak in and steal the ball away from him. 

His problems offensively could have been fixed or helped in the D-League which is where he should have been when he returned from his wrist injury. If he had gone to the D-League he would have been able to work on his footwork in the post and build confidence in his abilities offensively. 

At this point what has been shown by Udoh is his ability to block shots and that's it. If he can hit the glass more then there should be a justification of him being in the starting lineup. Since, he doesn't rebound particularly well that means either Biedrins or Adrien should be in the starting lineup.