Golden State Warriors: 5 Ways to Elevate Andris Biedrins' Game Back to Form
The trade deadline came and went with a flurry, however, it left the Warriors without making any major moves, (Troy Murphy is expected to be bought out) so they are just going to have to improve on what they got.
Andris Biedrins has really been struggling lately, and by lately I mean the last two years. He looks like a shell of his former self, drafted as a paper thin 18-year-old from Latvia, he struggled to adjust to NBA life. However, in his third year, Andris started playing like a man and made every Warriors fan embarrassed that they butchered his name those first few years.
He looked like he would become a perennial all-star, well at least a one-time all-star, averaging nearly a double-double in his third year then increasing his points and rebounds in the next two years. He was even shooting over 50 percent from the foul line at one point!
Then, he got a multi-year contract and things went south. He got hurt and he hasn't been the same since. He dedicated the entire offseason to improve his game, Keith Smart even spent three weeks in his home country to help him out, but it looks like to no avail. Since it's a mystery why his game is still so bad, here are five ways to elevate his game back to form.
5. Develop a Post Move
Biedrins' offensive rebounds have dropped the last two years, and thus so have his points. He's probably the only Warrior that misses Stephen Jackson, when he was on his team there were so many more rebounds to go around. Anyway, with missed shots came more offensive rebounds thus more put backs.
What he needs to do for the rest of the season is just come up with one post move that he can go to get the ball in the hole.
Right now, who would want to feed him in the post? He's not taking it strong to the hoop, so why would anyone give him the ball? It's not like he's helping anyone else score either, he's averaging one assist a game. He needs to contribute something on offense if the Warriors are really serious about a playoff run.
He just needs to get some kind of move that will give him at least two more buckets a night. He's killing the Warriors' offensive rhythm right now, plus there's really no one to take him out for when he is playing poorly.
Right now, if he is playing terrible there is not much head coach Keith Smart can do. As bad as Biedrins is at times, that's still better than anything the bench players are going to give you. Just one post move will do for now. Please.
4. Be More Agressive
This may sound too simple, well because it is, but how else do you explain a center who is averaging eight rebounds a game and only attempt .6 free throws a game?
You'd really have to try and not get fouled to only attempt that few, especially as a player who lives near the basket. I watched the game against the Celtics the other night and he utterly gets lost out there. You forget that he's on the team even when he's on the floor. He needs to start calling for the ball in the post (I don't think I've seen him do that one time all year) and start wanting to contribute.
3. Have Rick Barry Teach Him How to Shoot Free Throws
I don't know why other players go to underhand free throws that don't shoot over 50 percent. Not only would you have a higher percentage, mainly because changing it can't make it any lower than it is, but think of the publicity.
ESPN would likely do a feature story on you and your new style and how Rick Barry trained you to shoot better. You'd probably be a nightly highlight for a while just to show your free throw style. Don Nelson wanted Biedrins to learn how to shoot free throws underhanded from Rick Barry before, but Biedrins thought it was embarrassing.
Funny, I would think that shooting 33 percent from the free throw line would be embarrassing.
Of course he doesn't look to take the ball to the basket, who is going to want the ball and go the hoop aggressively when you can't shoot free throws.
2. Watch Kevin Love Game Film
He really should.
Kevin Love is doing everything that Biedrins is capable of doing, well except he can shoot the ball from outside five feet. Love dominates the boards, kind of like Biedrins was doing a few years back, and throws beautiful outlet passes. Think of how good that would make Biedrins if he concentrated solely on doing that, rebounding and out-letting.
Love gets most of his team's rebounds, but he has to outlet it to Jonny Flynn, Luke Ridnour or Wesley Johnson, so his passes are going unnoticed because they ultimately lead to a missed shot or turnover.
But Biedrins would (should) be getting 15 rebounds a night and immediately out-letting it to Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry. They could score 25 points a night just by him getting the ball out quickly to those two electrifying guards. He wouldn't even need to go down on offense, by the time he got down there anyway, the ball is already up in the air or coming back down.
If Biedrins can learn to box out again (Kevin Love does an O.K. job at that) then give the ball to his playmakers, people will start to forget that he averages five points a game.
1. Get His Confidence Back
If you don't have confidence, you may as well not even show up. In fact, it would be better if you didn't.
Whatever confidence Biedrins had, it's gone. Watching him on the court, he looks like he is trying to get out of the way of everything while he picks up some rebounds when they come to him. If he starts to get more aggressive, then maybe he will get more looks, which will lead to more points, i.e. more confidence.
If he learns how to shoot free throws, then he won't be hesitant to get to the rim, draw contact and get fouled. I don't blame him for not doing that now; if I was shooting 31 percent from the foul line I wouldn't want to draw any contact either, but I'm sitting on my couch, he is a starting center in the NBA and it's about time he started acting like one.
It's up to him to get his confidence back and maybe then, we'll see the Biedrins of old.