Sure it’s just summer league, but Marco Belinelli was pretty darn impressive in the Warriors’ first game. The Italian highlights are above, and Winning the Turnover Battle has an excellent recap of Belinelli’s 37-point performance. Here’s an excerpt from their summary:
Belinelli was completely nasty yesterday but his stats, although impressive (37 pts, 5 rb, 2 ast), don’t do his performance justice. What is lost in those numbers are two things. First, Belinelli was extremely active on the defensive end, and although he only ended up with one steal in the game he was a menace in the passing lanes, deflecting numerous balls and exhibiting great quickness on the defensive end. The second thing that is misleading about those stats is Belinelli’s assist total. The only reason that Marco only had two assists was that his teammates missed a number of open shots and also appeared suprised by a number of brilliant long passes made by Belinelli. On four seperate occassions during the game Belinelli made half court passes to wide open shooters that left me stunned. Belinelli did not come in touted as a passer, but his court vision and general basketball IQ appeared to be exponentially higher than anyone else on the court. Belinelli also showed that he is entirely unafraid to shoot from anywhere on the court, as his 37 points came on a wide variety of threes, jumpers, and drives.
Considering the immense struggles of Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, Belinelli’s shining performance is pretty impressive, even for summer league. Even more importantly, it looks like he will be able to contribute immediately, helping the W’s cushion the loss of Jason Richardson (and possibly/probably Mickael Pietrus and/or Matt Barnes). Also, Kelenna Azubuike (29 points) is making his case to fill the swingman void.
Oh, and in case you wondering, Patrick O’Bryant still sucks. He scored three. whole. points.
Like A Glove [Winning the Turnover Battle]
Game One Recap [Official Warriors Site]