Game Thread: Knicks vs. Warriors- 11-20-07

Yo, kids. We've got some news and a little preview action for you this afternoon before the game.

First, there's the news that Stephon Marbury will be starting tonight. Say what you will about Marbury, but we're better off with him getting the majority of the minutes at the point.

Next, in preparation for tonight's game, I was contacted by the crazy geniuses at Golden State of Mind to answer a few questions. My responses to Fantasy Junkie's questions are up at GSoM. Here's what I had to ask:

Seth: The Warriors notched their second win of the season upon the return of Stephen Jackson. Was this simply the result of a rejuvenated Golden State team, or does the man once famous for rolling around on the hood of a moving vehicle actually have this much effect on the Warriors' success?

Fantasy Junkie: As you saw in the playoffs Captain Jack has a big influence on this team. After Baron, he's the most important piece on this team. His floor game is tremendous with an ability to lock up an opposing player while getting the offense to flow freely with crisp passing. His return is a big lift for this team not only for his skills, but it also sets the rotation back to normal where Barnes, Pietrus, and Monta can settle into their roles off the bench. Before his return, the Warriors seemed just about to hit their stride. They nearly beat Cleveland, Dallas, and Detroit, just losing those games in close 4th quarters. They finally got everything to click with the win over the Clippers and Jackson's return should give them a boost for this road trip. But to answer your question bluntly, yes, Stephen Jackson has a significant effect on the Warriors' success this year.

S: Marco Bellinelli lit up the Summer League, but is getting limited minutes in real games. I know you guys love him at GSoM, so tell me a little about Marco's game. Do you think he's got a legit shot at being a real NBA baller?

FJ: Marco has a long way to go. I think everyone was infatuated with the ability he showed in the Summer League but as we all know, great performances in the Summer League don't translate to success in the NBA. Heck, with Nellie hyping him up saying he's already running plays for him in practice, Warriors nation was perhaps overexcited. The great thing about Marco is that he's got a shooters mentality. He's confident in his jumper and launches it from all kinds of angles. The problem is, and the reason for his lack of playing time, is that he's still a rookie who needs to have a complete game to gain a spot on this squad. Guards on the Warriors do well with at least 2 of the following scoring, rebounding, passing, or defense. Marco doesn't do anything well right now except shoot. He's a defensive liability and has 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 steals and 0 blocks in 60 minutes. Not the overall floor game you look for in a run n' gun style team. But we have to give him time. He's adjusting to the NBA game and it's never easy being a rookie under Nellie. He's got a chance to be very good, but he's got a long way to go.

S: Andris Biedrins isn't just rebounding and swatting fools this year; he's scoring. Is the big Latvian just getting more minutes than he used to, or has he actually developed an offensive game?

FJ: Part of Andris' increased scoring output is the extra 7 minutes per game he's getting on the court, but a major part of it is that he's perfecting how to play with all of these Warriors players who can penetrate and dish. I wouldn't say his offensive repertoire in terms of post moves has greatly improved, rather his ability to get open in the paint and find the spots guards can drop the ball off to him for an easy layup has improved. Outside of all that, here's one big reason for the increased scoring - free throws. This career 46% free throw shooter is up to 70% from the line. Last year, made free throws accounted for about 10% of his total points. Contrast that with this year, his made free throws account for 20% of his points. Combine all those things together and you have a solid double double center..

Thanks to Golden State of Mind for the responses. I may or may not be here for the game thread tonight, but I should have a recap up for you by tomorrow. Leave your thoughts in the comment section. Get them W's!

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