Saturday, September 27, 2008

WARRIORS SIGN JUSTIN WILLIAMS



Warriors just signed a quality player as a camp invitee. I've been an advocate for giving Justin Williams a chance since he came out of Wyoming undrafted back in the 2006. He's an athletic big with a long wingspan and gets off the floor quickly with a good vertical. He should be able to run in Nellie's system, but he needs to continue to develop his offensive game which only consists of putbacks and picking up garbage points in the paint. I'm glad to see Williams get a chance and hope that he sticks come the final day to cut the roster down to 15. If he does, Warriors become a better rebounding and defending team. The quality and quantity of our bigs has gotten considerably better in the last couple of years - Biedrins, Turiaf, Wright, Williams, and Randolph. Justin Williams will most likely play 3rd string Center behind Biedrins and Turiaf because of his limited offensive abilities.

Potential Depth Chart

PG: Williams/Watson
SG: Jackson/Belinelli/Morrow
SF: Maggette/Azubuike/Randolph
PF: Harrington/Wright/Hendrix
C: Biedrins/Turiaf/Williams

Inactive: Ellis

Justin Williams

Height: 6-10
Weight: 225
Born: May 12, 1984 - Chicago, Illinois
College: Wyoming
Draft: None




2006-07 Game Log
2006-07 D-League Game Log
2007-08 Game Log


From Draft Express:

May 5, 2006

Strengths

Listed at 6 feet, 10 inches, Williams has good height for the NBA power forward position. He combines that with a nice wingspan and an excellent standing reach. As an athlete, Williams is incredibly quick getting off the floor, with an excellent vertical leap and plenty of footspeed to get the job done. His upper-body is very much underdeveloped, but his legs are strong and act as a springboard for him to get off the ground and challenge shots. Despite not having the type of bulk you would hope for in a 4-year senior, his frame shows a lot of promise to continue to put weight on as he makes the transition from the college campus to an NBA weight room, particularly his broad shoulders.

Offensively, Williams is extremely raw, scoring most of his points off offensive rebounds, in transition, and off layups or dunks around the basket. When given the opportunity, Williams finishes strong and confidently at the rim. He has an underdeveloped jump-hook shot that serves as his go-to move within a few feet of the hoop.

Williams’ biggest asset as far as the NBA is concerned lies in his game-changing shot-blocking ability. He averaged an astounding 5.4 blocks per game as a college senior, good for 2nd best in the country, and a full 1.5 more blocks per game than the third best shot-blocker in the nation. Beyond his physical gifts, Williams is blessed with amazing timing and instincts in regards to challenging and intimidating around the rim. He often doesn’t even need to jump to block a shot, just positioning himself perfectly with his arms high in the air and pinning the ball to the glass in one quick, fluid motion. His massive hands help him out a great deal in this regard. Williams gets his fair share of blocks on the ball while guarding his man, but makes most of his living on the weak-side. He rotates in the blink of an eye, anticipates his opponent’s leap to let him get in the air before he does, and then goes straight up with no hesitation at all. Even when he doesn’t come up with a block on any given possession, his mere presence in the lane is enough to make opposing guards leery about driving into the paint.

Being more than just a shot-blocker, as a team defender Williams is quite good as well. He is a pesky, physical type, always looking to scrap, never being afraid of contact, holding his ground against stronger opponents and showing tremendous hustle on this end of the floor. His work-ethic and athleticism are on full display in the way he defends the pick and roll especially; coming out to hedge the screen, showing extremely well and then recovering in the blink of an eye right back into the post to continue to get the job done. If a teammate blows his assignment, Williams is quick enough to even step out on the perimeter and contest jump-shots from opposing guards as well.

Williams is also a tremendous rebounder at the collegiate level, averaging 11 per game in just 30 minutes per outing. The same physical attributes that make him an excellent shot-blocker make a factor here too; length, quickness, vertical leap, toughness, timing and a tremendous motor. He goes after anything and everything that is even remotely in his area, showing little regard for anyone that is in his way.

In terms of intangibles, Williams’ improvement as a basketball player can be directly attributed to his excellent work-ethic. He averaged more rebounds and blocked shots his last year at Wyoming than he did in Junior College, which tells you a bit about the strides he’s made as a basketball player. On the court, he’s known as a highly coachable player who knows his role and does exactly what is asked of him. He played much of the season on a bad ankle that most players would not even consider practicing on, showing his dedication to his team along with his ability to play through pain. Off the court, Williams is billed as an outgoing person with a good attitude as well as a solid teammate.

Weaknesses
One correctable weakness which could prevent him from playing a large role early on in his career is the fact that he’s extremely thin for a power forward, measuring out at around 215 pounds at Portsmouth. NBA big men will be able to push him around the way Mountain West Conference big men couldn’t, so adding strength is a priority. Defensively, Williams had problems staying on the floor at times this year due to the fact that he is prone to get in early foul trouble thanks to his tenacious style of play. His footwork in the post could still stand to improve.

Offensively, Williams is extremely raw, not leaving much hope of ever developing into much of a factor on this end besides scoring on garbage points. He has almost no offense to speak of outside of 5 feet, being particularly limited due to the fact that he has very poor touch on his shot. He has a very awkward looking release, and this is especially obvious when watching him clank free throws, hitting only 56% of his attempts on the season. He has absolutely no face-up game and cannot create a shot for himself in the post due to his non-existent ball-handling skills. Williams is a very mechanical offensive player, even shooting simple shots around the rim, his touch is very poor. Offensively he would be best suited playing the center position next to a highly skilled power forward, but at 6-9 or 6-10 his size and lack of bulk pretty much relegates him almost exclusively to the 4-spot.

Competition
Williams played in a fairly watered down Mountain West Conference, one year after the conference had two top 20 picks in the NBA draft. The depth of this conference was very questionable, particularly in terms of big men talent, so some healthy skepticism should occur when analyzing his gaudy statistical production.

As a senior, Williams averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds to go along with his 5.4 blocks per game. His most impressive performance statistically was likely a 10 point, 15 rebound 12 block effort against Utah in the MWC tournament. Besides a monster 13 point, 20 rebound, 9 block performance against Charlotte early on in the season, Williams for the most part struggled to reach his averages against the fairly marginal NBA prospects he had a chance to match up with in-conference and out, including Yemi Nicholson, Marcus Slaughter, Louis Amundson and Joah Tucker.

At the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament he showed that his numbers were no fluke, though, being named to DraftExpress’ All-Portsmouth 2nd team (see links: Portsmouth Recap) for his efforts here. Many of his matchups were against high profile big men (relatively speaking) from high-major conferences, and he was impressive enough to surely earn himself another look at the Orlando pre-draft camp in June.

Williams played his first two seasons of college basketball at Colby Community College before transferring to Wyoming. He was also recruited by Auburn, DePaul, Iowa State, Marquette, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and UCLA.

Outlook
Considering his tremendous rebounding and defensive potential, there is likely a spot for a player like Justin Williams in the NBA, even more so when you consider his youth (turning 22 in mid-May) and upside.

Barring a terrific performance in Orlando that could propel him into the 1st round, Williams will likely get drafted somewhere in the 2nd round and will initially get a chance to justify the investment to see how much he can improve in his first season or two in the NBA. There are many scrappy power forwards who went undrafted and are far less naturally talented than him making a solid living in the NBA right now.



Francisco Garcia Justin Williams Show vs Memphis
From: zeroqrwaskilla




Justin Williams Mix
From: BigPatrys15

WARRIORS NEWS EXCERPTS

Nellie, Mullin are united in support of Ellis
Tim Kawakami / Mercury News

... "Now is a time for him, I think, to have some support," Mullin said of Ellis. "Of course, understand he did do something wrong and needs to be accountable for it. But I do think all the energy and effort now goes into getting healthy, both physically and mentally.

"I do believe, not trying to be unrealistic, sometimes people learn more from experience than they do from ... you know ... questions and accusations and lectures and things like that."

... a voiding of the contract — is no longer being considered



Warriors' Ellis can learn from his mistake
Gary Peterson / Bay Area News Group

... "We continue to gather all of the pertinent facts and information in regards to the Monta Ellis situation," team president Robert Rowell said in a statement released Thursday. "We have scheduled a meeting with Monta's representatives to take place within the next 7-10 days, and upon conclusion we will have a public announcement regarding our decision."

... What happens next, assuming Ellis recovers fully from his injury, is he has to prove he wants to live up to his new deal, and not merely live off it. He needs to show he's as hungry now as when he was scraping by on a paltry $770,610. He needs to make his first offense his last offense.



Stephen Jackson says contract issues sabotaged the Warriors last season
Matt Steinmetz / Golden State Warriors Examiner

... "It was a toll last year," Jackson said. "You had Matt, you had B.D., you had Monta and Andris. All the contract stuff was in the locker room. This year it's not like that. Ninety percent of the guys are taken care of.

"I'm going to be real. It was talked about a little too much considering the year we had before, all the success we had (in playoffs vs. Dallas). I think that took away from our focus.

"Matt was worried about his contract, B.D. Everyone was talking about it too much instead of talking about what we need to do to win games. It was a cancer last year.



Jackson steps up as captain
Curtis Pashelka / Bay Area News Group

... The 30-year-old guard/forward was nothing but optimistic as he met with Bay Area media members, saying this year's team is better "on paper" than last year's 48-win squad, that he'd like to retire with Golden State, and maintaining that he won't let any contract negotiations he has with management this season be an ongoing distraction.

... Jackson, who has two years remaining on a deal that's worth $14.89 million, would like a contract extension and wouldn't mind if talks with the team continue throughout the season. But he'd rather not have it play out in public or be a topic of discussion in the locker room.



Warriors return to the court

Ann Killion / Mercury News

... Jackson said he talks with Ellis every day. He said his own troubled past should encourage Ellis. Jackson was suspended 30 games for being part of the infamous brawl at the Palace at Auburn Hills in 2004, and seven games at the start of last season after pleading guilty to criminal recklessness stemming from a 2006 incident outside an Indianapolis strip club.

"I bounced back and he can bounce back," Jackson said. "I told him we're going to support him and deal with it the best he can. We all make mistakes. I'm over it."

... Corey Maggette and Davis, in effect, swapped teams, Maggette leaving the Clippers after eight seasons to sign with the Warriors.

"I think he's in for a rude awakening," Maggette said of Davis. Maggette is thrilled to be with a team that has its own training facility, instead of the public fitness center the Clippers were forced to use. He said other things about the Clippers, like film study and called plays, could be a shock for Davis.



Adding up pieces in 2008 A.D. - after Davis
Janny Hu / San Francisco Chronicle

... Jackson, arguably the team's most important player, finds himself fifth on the pay scale after the Warriors doled out around $200 million in new contracts over the summer by giving huge raises to Ellis and Andris Biedrins and signing free agents Corey Maggette and Ronny Turiaf.

Jackson - who will earn about $7 million this season, less than Ellis, Biedrins, Maggette and Al Harrington - cannot renegotiate the final two years of his current contract under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. But he is eligible to sign an extension, which he believes will happen before the start of the regular season.

"I had some talks with Bobby and them," Jackson said of team president Robert Rowell. "I've got a good feeling that things are going to be taken care of. I'm not one of those guys that's going to sit around and not play my hardest and not approach the game and be in the locker room as a cancer because it's not done.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WARRIORS NEWS EXCERPTS

Warriors' Ellis was hurt in moped accident
Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer

... The 22-year-old tore a deltoid ligament in his ankle and sustained a high-ankle sprain in what one of the sources labeled a "low-speed" accident. Ellis underwent surgery Aug. 27 and is expected to be sidelined for at least another two months.

... Ellis won't be with the team Friday, when players gather for their annual media-day festivities. The team expects Ellis to arrive in Oakland sometime early in training camp, pending medical approval.

... The team has not decided how to punish Ellis for violating the terms of his new six-year, $66 million deal by participating in a banned activity and trying to cover it up.

Since riding a moped is prohibited under the uniform player contract, the Warriors could move to terminate Ellis' deal, though such a move seems highly unlikely.



Report: Ellis was injured in mo-ped accident, not playing hoop
ESPN.com news services

... Ellis, 22, who signed a six-year, $66 million contract extension with the Warriors during the offseason, tore a ligament in his left ankle and sustained a high-ankle sprain in what one of the sources said was a "low-speed" mo-ped accident, according to the report. He underwent surgery in late August and is expected to be sidelined for another two months.

... Riding a mo-ped is prohibited under the uniform player contract, which means the Warriors could tear up Ellis' contract. But according to sources, the team and Ellis are still working through the situation. A decision on discipline won't be made until next week, according to the report.



Watson looks to fill starting guard spot
Curtis Pashelka, Contra Costa Times Staff writer

... Watson will get that opportunity perhaps more often than anyone envisioned as he and Marcus Williams head into the start of the Warriors' training camp Saturday as the team's lone true point guards.

... "I feel a lot more comfortable (this year) with this system and the speed of the NBA," Watson said. "After being in there for the last couple of months (last year) and playing summer league, I'm excited for the season and to get a chance to show my skills, what I've been working on and how much I can play."

... "I think right now, everything's wide open," said Chris Mullin, the Warriors' executive vice president of basketball operations. "Our team has changed so much. I don't think Nellie has seen a lot of these guys play together. He's seen them individually in summer league or parts of last year, but how these guys play together is a whole different thing."



Warriors' Training Camp Roster

College/ No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. HS/Country Age Exp.

7 Kelenna Azubuike G 6-5 220 Kentucky 24 2
18 Marco Belinelli G 6-5 192 Italy 22 1
15 Andris Biedrins F/C 6-11 230 Latvia 22 4
11 Dion Dowell G/F 6-7 205 Houston 23 R
8 Monta Ellis G 6-3 177 Lanier HS (Miss.) 22 3
3 Al Harrington F 6-9 250 St. Patrick's (N.J.) 28 10
35 Richard Hendrix F 6-9 255 Alabama 21 R
1 Stephen Jackson G/F 6-8 218 Oak Hill Acad. (Va.) 30 8
31 Rob Kurz F 6-9 232 Notre Dame 23 R
50 Corey Maggette F 6-6 225 Duke 28 9
22 Anthony Morrow G 6-5 210 Georgia Tech 22 R
20 DeMarcus Nelson G 6-4 200 Duke 22 R
4 Anthony Randolph F 6-10 205 LSU 19 R
21 Ronny Turiaf F 6-10 250 Gonzaga 25 3
23 C.J. Watson G 6-2 175 Tennessee 24 1
5 Marcus Williams G 6-3 205 Connecticut 22 2
32 Brandan Wright F 6-10 205 North Carolina 20 1