I would never go to Charles Barkley for gambling advice. But sometimes, the Chuckster makes a lot of sense when he sticks to basketball. I caught one of those times Tuesday when Barkley was talking to Tom Tolbert on KNBR.
When the conversation turned away from his gambling escapades to the Warriors, Barkley said he had no idea what this team was trying to do, whether it had a long-term plan to become a legitimate title contender. Barkley said it looked as if the Warriors were just continuing their addiction to small ball and could expect the same predictable, disappointing results. He said the best the Warriors could hope for would be to sneak into the playoffs and win one series if they got the perfect Mavericks-like matchup before getting crushed by one of the West’s bigger, stronger teams.
In this case, I’ve got to agree with Barkley. I don’t mind having a smaller, faster Warriors team, but not this small, not one that has 6-foot-6 Corey Maggette starting at power forward, taking minutes away from 6-foot-10 rookie Anthony Randolph and 6-foot-10 second-year player Brandan Wright.
So here’s my suggestion for Warriors coach Don Nelson, one way to build a bigger, better more viable team for the future: Give the power forward position to Randolph and Wright. Let them job share. Call them Branthony Randight. Make the position off limits to Maggette and all of your other “midgets,” as Sir Charles so politically incorrectly put it.
The Warriors gave up Jason Richardson for Wright in a draft-day deal last year. They spent a first-round pick on Randolph this year. They’re both tall, active, athletic players with huge wingspans. They can run, block shots and rebound.
Give them a chance to develop his year, even if they make a few mistakes of inexperience that cost you. By next year, they might even be ready to start alongside each other, with Randolph moving to small forward.
That would give the Warriors a front line of 6-11 center Andris Biedrins and two 6-10 forwards. What a radical idea. Of course the Warriors would have to figure out what to do with a roster that’s overstocked with guards, small forwards and swingmen.
I’m sure Barkley has a few ideas.