Ekpe Udoh, taking advantage of opportunity.
Blog Buddy: Clips Nation
Sick days: For those of us who are so blessed with a) a job and b) an employer who provides sick days, they're golden. For those times when the workday is just too much to bear but you haven't bothered to schedule a vacation, when the prospects of spending 8+ hours dealing with the pointy haired boss are overwhelming, they're a life-saver, a chance to break from a routine long enough to regain some needed balance.
Occasionally, you can use them when you're actually sick.
For those of us who have grown sick and tired of seeing Andris Biedrins provide a whole lot of nothing (and alas even I now just wonder who will offer us that broken toaster so we can be rid of the dead weight), his sick day provided exactly that break. Well, perhaps not for him, as apparently his illness is real I don't actually wish ill health on him, but for the rest of us, it seemed to bring some new health to the team. We were rewarded with Ekpe Udoh's first start and were, in return, rewarded with a win against a visiting Clippers team that is no longer the joke that they've been for, well, for about as long as our Warriors have been a joke.Quickly, so as not to short change those who were responsible for victory:
- Monta scored big (not terribly surprising) and efficiently (far more of a surprise).
- Lee provided offense and enough rebounding to prevent the team from being completely obliterated on the glass (instead, we were only totally outclassed).
- Curry didn't shoot often but made the most of his attempts.
- And Udoh continued to have a knack for the team just playing so much better when he's in the game than when he's sitting.
On this last point, while the improved results when Udoh is in the game aren't an anomaly, things were still rather different from his normal outing. Where he normally chooses to confound those who look at his individual numbers and see something between "not impressive" and "how can someone that tall be so inept on the glass?", Udoh's line looked like a real basketball player. He was certainly much more of an offensive threat than he's been most nights (an efficient 19 from your center is more than most teams get , and much more than Biedrins. His 19 points are about a third of what Andris has scored this year and when Udoh split his pair of freethrows in the 3rd quarter, he matched Andris's made FT total for the season.
And inasmuch as 19 points on 14 shots while staying in the game for 38 minutes strikes most as more impressive than a bucket or two in a bit more than a quarter and a half while the team falls behind, it's going to be tougher to argue with keeping Udoh out of the starting lineup, even when sick leave runs dry for the former incumbent C.
Also of note: Though Blake Griffin and Chris Paul would normally warrant mention in a recap of a game against LAC, spending any more time thinking about the Clippers is certain to lead me to think about DeAndre Jordan, which reminds me that signed him to an offer sheet, which reminds me that we cut Jeremy Lin, in part to have enough cap space to make that offer. And that's not something I want to do right now, not when there's a win to relish instead.