GSoM Q&A with Marcus Thompson II - 02/01/07 (Part 2 of 2)

Today must be Marcus Thompson Day. Here's part 2 of the Q&A we did with him recently. If you missed it the first time, here's Part 1. Check out what MTII had been up to lately. He's now got his own hoops blog called Hoops Junkie and he still answers questions in his online forum. So if you ever have a Warriors question, drop Marcus a line. Here's a quick description of Marcus from the Hoops Junkie website:

Marcus Thompson II is in his first season as the Times' NBA writer. He covered the Golden State Warriors the previous two seasons. He started at the Times in 1999 as a high school sports reporter. Since then, he's covered St. Mary's College football and men's and women's basketball, and served as a general assignment writer. He is an Oakland native, graduating from Oakland Technical High School before studying journalism at Clark Atlanta University.

Keep in mind these question and answers were from a few days ago so they don't take into account the blowout losses at Cleveland and Atlanta. So without further ado, enjoy Part Deuce.

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Golden State of Mind: What are realistic expectations for JRich when he gets back? After the surgery on his knee and recovery from his broken hand, will his role change and if so, what does he have to do to make this team better?

Marcus Thompson II:I wouldn't expect him to reach last year's level. Not this season. He needs to be patient and conservative. He needs to feel his way through and figure out what the team needs for him. They will certainly need him to crash the boards, because they don't have any size on the frontline. They may need him to score, but maybe not as the first or second option as last season. The biggest thing he needs to do is be patient and not try to come back and do too much, trying to prove he's still J.R.


Golden State of Mind: How did Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu, and Keith McLeod take the news of the trade? Were they happy, disappointed, or act like it was just business?

Marcus Thompson II: I know Dunleavy was happy, relieved. He was tired of getting booed, tired of being underappreciated. Murphy was excited about getting a new start and going somewhere he can be used. He was really struggling with the new role. He was frustrated and angry, semi-depressed it seemed. He was clearly impacted negatively by the reduced role. We had a few good talks about how it was bothering him. He was excited just to go somewhere he could be a key guy again.

I know Diogu felt like he was being underused, but I'm not sure if he wanted to go somewhere else. McLeod wasn't too enamored with his role here either, so he would welcome any situation where his playing time was regular.


Golden State of Mind: Does Baron deserve to be an All-Star? If so, who does he beat out and if not, what does he need to do in order to make the team?

Marcus Thompson II: Yes, he does deserve it. In my opinion, he should get in over Allen Iverson. The four guards should be Kobe, McGrady, Nash and Baron. They are the four Western Conference guards who have had the best season. A.I. should not qualify as a Western Conference All-Star. He hasn't played enough games in the West. But, how can you have an All-Star Game without Iverson, one of the league's most popular player?


Golden State of Mind: What's up with Patrick O'Bryant? From lottery pick to barely a decent D-League player, is he going to ever make an impact in the NBA? What does he have to work on to become an effective post player?

Marcus Thompson II: He's got to get tougher. He's too soft, mentally and physically. He's too weak to hold his position and he can't fight for rebounds at this point. Even more, he gets down on himself when things go wrong.

Simply, he's got a long way to go. He has some offensive skills. But he needs to gain weight and strength. He needs to acquire confidence and a killer instinct. If it sounds like a lot, that's because it is.


Golden State of Mind: You've been covering the entire NBA for a few months now. What or who has been your biggest surprise and biggest disappointment?

Marcus Thompson II: Biggest surprise: Andris Biedrins. I did not think dude would be this good, at least not this soon. He's really a monster when it comes to production. It befuddles me how he keeps it up. He just looks so ... stoppable. But he finds a way to get it done every night.

Biggest disappointment: The Clippers. What happened? I expected them to be up there with Phoenix and Dallas and San Antonio. They might not make the playoffs. That's just unacceptable.

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We'd just like to thank Marcus for taking the time out to answer some of our questions. Make sure to drop by Marcus' online forum to get any of your Warriors questions answered and make the Hoops Junkie blog a daily visit.

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