Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Three In Good Company

As training camp opens, the official Warriors website wrote an article recently about the 3 new rooks, Diogu, Ellis, and Taft and their transition to the NBA game.
Trouble is, “back in the day” was last year and Ellis, 19, was still in high school. Now scoring 72 points in a game is a distant memory and the second-round pick has been scrimmaging and working out with Warriors veterans preparing for training camp next week in Hawaii. Along with first-round pick Ike Diogu and second-rounder Chris Taft, Ellis is punching in and learning how things work in the NBA...

Speaking of big, the 6-8 Diogu has a chance to contribute immediately off the bench at power forward, center or any other spot he can earn some time. There is a language barrier, as Diogu talks English while the Warriors coaching staff is speaking in a loud, strange tongue of letters and numbers, usually accompanied by a picture of X’s and O’s. The rookie from Arizona State became aware of this less than a week after he was drafted during his brief introduction to the Warriors sets during the Las Vegas Summer League. The terminology had his head spinning...

“There are a lot of comparisons between Ike and I,” Taft said. “He’s really good, I’m really good. We’re both trying to learn the ropes, so we help each other out. Both our eyes are wide open.”

Taft, 20, has learned one lesson weeks before his first preseason game, thanks to professors Foyle, Murphy and Biedrins.

“This is a lot more brutal than college,” he said. “It is very physical. I also have to learn about defensive positioning. In college, I just stayed in the paint all day.”
Ike looks promising and will definitely contribute with some inside scoring and toughness, but how much will Monta and Taft contribute?

With the current depth of the roster, it looks like those two will either ride the bench getting about 5 minutes per game or be sent to the D-League to develop. Ellis is probably the one with the better chance to play since the guard rotation is not as deep as the forward rotation. He needs to bulk up as he's sure to get pounded by the stronger guards in the league. Taft, while a major talent, has problems with the mental aspect of his game. Plus he's sitting behind a crowded frontcourt where he will probably not stand out and get minutes. He would have to beat out, foyle, murphy, diogu, biedrins, and zarko to get any time. Both Ellis and Taft need more experience on the court and would be best served by playing in the D-League. Hopefully one of them stands out and is able to contribute to the team outside of garbage time.


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