Monday, October 03, 2005

Breakout Players

So YaoButtaMing and I (along with another friend) went to pick up his season tickets at the Arena on Saturday. YaoButta will post something later about our trip there. But I got to speak with Warrior great Nate Thurmond who was signing autographs (If you don't know who he is, please go do your homework. Member of the Hall of Fame and 50 Greatest of All Time). Basically I asked him which Warrior he thought would breakout this season. He responded with Dunleavy and Zarko. Being the huge Dunleavy fan I am, I was surprised he said Dunleavy. So I asked him why. Basically he said that the Warriors just needed solid role players to complement Jason and Baron. They need someone who will play well consistently and average at least 15ppg. So Nate Thurmond's choice for having a "breakout year" goes to Dunleavy and Zarko.

My pick to breakout? Mickael Pietrus. He might have a breakout year if he's given a chance. RealGM wrote an article about the self anointed nickname, "The Future"

Pietrus has missed 44 games his first two seasons, and last year he was hurt during all of training camp and preseason. When he came back, he was consistently inconsistent.

At times he was the best player on the floor and at other times he looked like an unsure sixth grader who looked lost, often thinking instead of reacting.

But as the season went on, Pietrus became more consistent, as was the case in his rookie year. He has finished each of his first two seasons on a strong note. One could only imagine what type of year he would have if healthy.

Perhaps the best game he’s ever had was April 18 at home against the Lakers. Pietrus, who mostly guarded Kobe Bryant, held Kobe to 9-for-27 shooting and had him visibly frustrated. On one play, Bryant picked up a technical foul after Pietrus stripped the ball off Bryant and out of bounds for a turnover.

On offense, Pietrus led the Warriors with 25 points on 8-for-11 shooting in 26 minutes. If Kobe didn’t know who Pietrus was before that game, I guarantee you he knows now. (And "I won't be surprised if Kobe GOES for 40")

I love Pietrus's athleticism and hustle. His decisions need to improve but towards the end of last year, you could see that with some hard work he could become a special player. Hopefully, he has worked on his offensive offensive game over the summer. The Warriors will need Zarko, Dun, and Pietrus to each fill the important roles needed to complement JRich and BD for the team to make the playoffs. Who's your pick on the Warriors to have a breakout year?


At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Warrior Fanatic said...

Air France is gonna be off the hook! 10 bucks says Zarko moves ahead of Dunnuthin' on the Warriors depth chart too.


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