I’ve been saying this time and time again. Mark Jackson must have heard my frustration. In light of rewarding my premature declaration, Ekpe Udoh started in place of Andris Beidrins. Yeah buddy! And Ekpe must have known how much I looked up to him to fill some shoes (not big) because he rewarded Jackson and me with a thunderous effort against the LA Clippers. Granted, this night Ekpe started because Beidrins was out with flu-like symptoms, but the way Ekpe played, Beidrins might have more flu-like symptoms to be a scratch rather than riding the pine. Ekpe finished the night with 19 points, eight boards and two blocks. And his defense around the rim was ever present. He harassed and got Blake Griffin into early foul trouble. He limited DeAndre Jordan, who the Warriors were throwing money at (and released Lin because they need extra cap space, another story for another day) to five points and 11 rebounds. He was also scoring (something that is so rare for Beidrins) including two buckets to start an 11-2 run for the Warriors that ended up finishing the Clippers. His inside presence along with Monta Ellis’ 32 points and David Lee’s 24 points, 13 rebounds, powered the Warriors to a W and send the Clippers to their second straight loss.
This night was revenge for opening night, Christmas day game when the newly looked Clippers defeated the Warriors. Then, the Warriors didn’t know what they were about. Now, the Warriors have someone they can count on.
I know I wrote an article on how Ekpe Udoh is a trade bait and I still stand by it. He was drafted by the past management, past GM, past coach. They would probably have traded him rather quickly if something better came along. After all, he has shown he is a decent player and a big man that can play. There are few and far between big men that can play like him.
If he continues to play well and they insert him into the starting five, this might be a look for the Warriors that they have been looking for.