GSoM Q&A with Tim Kawakami 11/15/06 (Part 2 of 5)

Golden State of Mind friend Tim Kawakami did another great Q&A with us last week. It's fun to talk Warriors and Bay Area sports with Tim because he always has a fresh, witty perspective. Make sure to make Tim's blog Talking Points with Tim Kawakami a daily stop. Also, make sure to check out his work in the San Jose Mercury. Tim's always got the latest scoop on the Bay Area sports scene and some great insights. Warriors Nation is lucky to have Tim covering the Warriors.

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Here's Part II of our Q&A with the other parts to follow in the next few days...

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Golden State of Mind: It's only been a few games, but both Andris Biedrins and Mickael Pietrus seem to have improved by leaps and bounds since last season. What's been the source for their improvement? Also, Biedrins is eligible for an extension after this season and Pietrus will be a restricted free agent. Are the Warriors looking to keep either or both players?

Tim Kawakami: Biedrins and Pietrus are showing immense improvement, is there an explanation? Biedrins is due an extension in the off-season, Pietrus is a restricted F-A, what are the Warriors chances of keeping both? Answer: As you guys know, I wasn't a total slam-dunk supporter of Nelson's hiring. I wanted to wait and see. But the moment they hired him, I knew this: He'd probably do the most good for Biedrins, Pietrus and Ellis. I think I told you guys that, too. Why? Because Nelson understands what to do with exotic players, and these are exotic players. Montgomery was afraid of exotics--he wanted college regiment--do it this way every time, so we can beat Arizona State. But wait: That's not how the NBA works. The NBA are the best of the best. You need exotic, sometimes erratic players to make a difference when everybody's flying around. Biedrins was a special player last year--great hands, defended the rim, finished at the rim. NOBODY ELSE did that. NOBODY ELSE does that. But the coaching staff was afraid of his fouls (logically) and afraid to risk him out there. But Adonal Foyle for 28 minutes was better? Crazy.

Same thing with Pietrus. Montgomery just never understood him. He didn't yell at him because he didn't think Mickael understood him. He didn't instruct him for the same reason. He just watched him, got mad, and yanked him the first time he did a dumb thing, which is often, still with Mickael. But he does great things, too. And the dumb things are worth the great things.

In the NBA, you coach to the special stuff, not the mundane stuff--as long as you can coach the mundane stuff, too. Nelson embraces the special stuff. He's embracing Biedrins and Pietrus and they're paying him back. Will they be re-signed? Biedrins, that's a lock. I think Mullin will be allowed to go into luxury-tax land, if he has to, to keep Biedrins. It'd be crazy not to. 20-year-old 7-footer with a great attitude and great feet and hands... that's your definition of a player worth the investment. (Murphy, Richardson, Dunleavy and Foyle would be the definitions of... well, not.)

Golden State of Mind: Some teams, like the Utah Jazz, won't let the Warriors get out and run. What adjustments, if any, will Coach Don Nelson need to make in games where the Warriors have to use a lot of half court sets?

Tim Kawakami: The Warriors probably lose, like they did in Utah. There's just not much half-court stuff Nelson can run--other than Baron going at the rim--without a real post scorer. That's the weakness and that has always been the weakness--a guy who can score easy buckets inside and guard the opponent power forward who often gets easy buckets inside.

The good thing for the Warriors: There aren't many teams as disciplined and big as Utah right now. You've got San Antonio. The Clippers most days. Maybe Houston. That's it in the West. So the Warriors will be able to go up and down vs. most teams--and against all teams at home. Doesn't mean they'll be over .500. But they'll get to 38, 39, 40, 41, something like that, assuming Baron and Biedrins stay healthy.

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UPDATE: Check out Tim's blog post following up on these answers- Monta Ellis already is a better, more valuable player than Jason Richardson

Stay tuned for the rest of Tim's second Q&A with us...

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

This past September we did another fun Q&A with Tim: Part I | Part II

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