Warriors

Warriors focus: Carl Landry

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Warriors focus: Carl Landry

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final installment in a seven-part series that spotlights the seven new Warriors.
Part 1: Harrison BarnesPart 2: Kent Bazemore
Part 3: Andrew Bogut
Part 4: Festus Ezeli
Part 5: Draymond Green
Part 6: Jarrett Jack

If you want to get picky, you could say that Carl Landry isnt really a perfect fit for the Warriors. After all, what the Warriors need most from their interior players particularly from their substitute big players is rebounding and defense.Those arent exactly the first two things you think of when you think about Landrys game.Nevertheless, its tough to criticize the signing of Landry. Darn near impossibly, frankly. Hes a proven scorer off the bench and a player known for his competitiveness. No, hes not a defensive stopper or a big-time rebounder, but what Landry does give the Warriors is quality depth at a position where they havent had much.Last season Warriors coach Mark Jackson had to use all sorts of players in the frontcourt, including Dominic McGuire, Mickell Gladness, Mikki Moore, Keith Benson and Earl Barron.So without a doubt Landry represents an upgrade from last season. Question is: Where do his minutes come from?David Lee figures to get the lions share of playing time at power forward. Lee has averaged 36 and 37 minutes per game, respectively, over the past two seasons with Golden State.That doesnt leave a whole lot of room for Landry, a player who has averaged 25 minutes per game, himself, during the course of his five-year career.It seems apparent that Landry will get a good portion of minutes when coach Mark Jackson elects to go with his small lineup. If theres one thing Jackson showed a season ago, its that hes not afraid to use Lee at center particularly late in games.A Landry-Lee frontcourt would certainly have some size deficiencies and defensive shortcomings, but that frontcourt could also be useful if the Warriors are trying to bring home a win down the stretch of a close game.Landry and Lee both have career free-throw percentages of .777. So when you consider Andrew Bogut is a 54.7 percent foul shooter for his career, you can see why Jackson might go small late in games.But there are other reasons for Landry and Lee to play together, and the most important is that by doing so the Warriors will limit Boguts minutes. With Bogut coming off season-ending ankle injury last season, it only makes sense to monitor his minutes closely in 2011-12.On top of that, there is instability at the backup five position with Andris Biedrins, whose game has gone missing in recent years, and Festus Ezeli, an unproven rookie.When Landry plays hell give the Warriors an aggressive scorer on the inside. Hes more of a scorer than a back-to-the-basket power forward, though he can do some damage in the right matchup down there.Landry does his best work from the mid-post area, where has developed a nice mid-range shot to go a long with a quick first step at least by power forward standards.The one thing Landry has done throughout his career is get to the foul line. Last season for the Hornets, Landry averaged 4.5 free throw attempts in just 24 minutes.That could come in handy when you consider that Landry will likely be playing a lot early in the second quarters of games assuming hes coming off the bench. If nothing else, Landrys assertiveness could serve to get the Warriors in the penalty more quickly than they have in the past.As for Landrys rebounding, its not that hes a bad rebounder, hes just not a great one call him average in that department. Landry averaged five rebounds per game last season in 24 minutes.Landry also isnt much of a shot-blocker, which means when he and Lee play together theyll have trouble protecting the rim.What Landry does bring to the table is a willingness to compete and someone whos going to play hard night it and night out. Because he gives the Warriors a different kind of dimension inside, its possible seeing him having a nice role.No, Landry isnt perfect. But its easy to see that he should make the Warriors better.

Jordan Bell enjoys trolling Bulls

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Jordan Bell enjoys trolling Bulls

OAKLAND -- Jordan Bell fessed up. Got honest. Came clean. Snitched on himself.

After saying Friday morning that he held no grudge against the franchise that drafted him, the Warriors rookie admitted Friday night that enjoyed every moment, including several memorable highlights, in a 143-94 win over the Bulls at Oracle Arena.

A good feeling, eh?

“I’m not going to lie. It was,” Bell said. “Just because of everything that happened. I know I said at first, coming in to the game, that I wasn’t really thinking about it. But then everybody kept reminding me about it today, so it felt pretty good.”

Though Chicago drafted Bell last June, it was at the direction of the Warriors, who bought his rights for cash considerations that amounted to $3.5 million.

Making his first NBA start, for a resting Draymond Green, Bell played 27 minutes, contributing 7 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Oh, and six blocks.

Six.

“They were all impressive,” coach Steve Kerr marveled.

With exquisite timing, Bell chased down Bulls forward Denzel Valentine for a one block in the third quarter, slamming the ball off the backboard to trigger a Warriors fast break.

On another, in the fourth quarter, Bell initially protected the rim against a driving Paul Zipser, who was forced to pump-fake and pass to Quincy Pondexter, whose layup attempt was rejected outright on Bell’s second leap.

“That’s probably my favorite one, just because everybody thought they were going to score,” Bell said. “It was a good hustle play.”

Bell acknowledged making several mental mistakes, particularly defending Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen, but generally seemed pleased with his part in a runaway victory.

He even caught and slammed a lob pass from, of all teammates, Zaza Pachulia, on a two-man fast break.

Bell most assuredly was pleased with his last offensive sequence, stealing a Pondexter pass and starting a solo fast break, crossing over Zipser before he dropped in a layup. 

After making the shot, Bell rubbed his fingers in each hand, in the international sign for “money,” while mouthing the words “three point five.”

“I wanted to see how ‘Cash Considerations’ was playing over there,” Bell said about as smoothly as possible while sprinkling sarcasm.

He had thought about trolling the Bulls from the moment he was told on Wednesday he would start. As the game neared, he decided he’d better stick to preparing for the game. It worked out just fine.

Steve Kerr uses playing cards as his latest pregame prop for Warriors news

Steve Kerr uses playing cards as his latest pregame prop for Warriors news

For his latest trick, Steve Kerr brought out a deck of cards Friday night in Oakland. 

With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green out against the Bulls, Kerr was ready to announce who would replace them. Get your phones ready reporters.

"You guys ready to tweet?" Kerr asked reporters. "We're gonna start Omri and Jordan Bell." 

Kerr then began to shuffle his deck of cards and said, "As soon as you're down tweeting, we'll resume human contact. But in the meantime, stare at your phones, ignore me, I'm just practicing my shuffling." 

Casspi, in his first year with the Warriors, is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game through 15 games. The rookie Bell has played in 12 games and is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. 

Friday night is Bell's first career start. 

Kerr's pregame prop list now includes a nail clipper, a Rubbik's cube, a slinky, and playing cards.