By Geoff Lepper
OAKLAND — For all the talk about incoming point guard Marcus Williams, Warriors coach Don Nelson isn’t ready to hand him the keys the offense just yet.
Nelson said after Tuesday’s morning practice that C.J. Watson currently holds top position on the depth chart at the point, filling in the spot that the injured Monta Ellis was slated to inherit from the departed Baron Davis.
“C.J., right now it’s his starting job to lose,” Nelson said. “I think he’s the best starting point guard in camp right now, so I’ve got him penciled in there. But there’s still a long way to go. This is all early, (but) he’s done a very good job.”
Nelson said that when the team gets around to going over its offensive sets — more than 90 percent of the work since Saturday has been on the defensive side of the ball — he’s not planning on making any changes to help compensate for the absence of Ellis, whom Nelson expected to play 35 minutes a night at the point.
“Everything we do (in training camp) is anticipating that Monta would be in the lineup,” Nelson said. “So he’ll walk right back into things that he does well, that he can do.”
That means whomever gets slotted in at point guard, be it Watson or Williams, will have to do all the things Ellis has been expected to do. That’s an interesting tidbit, because there’s nobody else on the Warriors’ roster — and few players in the entire league, for that matter — who can match the offensive explosiveness a healthy Ellis brings to the floor.
“They can do (Ellis’) job,” Nelson said. “They’ll have to do it differently. It’s not that they’re not good players; they don’t have the ability to score like he does.”
Neither of them has displayed that propensity in the NBA to this point, but Watson arguably has more potential to be a prototypical scoring point guard of the type Nelson loves. Watson doesn’t have the raw speed and quickness of Ellis, but he did average 26.2 points — on better than 50 percent shooting and 40 percent accuracy from 3-point range — in the NBA Development League last season.
Watson seemed to be concentrating, almost to a fault, on avoiding mistakes, rather than making plays, after joining the Warriors in January. Then again, he spent half his time playing alongside Davis rather than in place…
Welcome to 48minutes.net, the place to go for daily beat coverage of the Golden State Warriors and the NBA in general from Geoff Lepper, formerly of the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times.
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TagsAcie Law Al Harrington Allen Iverson Andris Biedrins Anthony Morrow Anthony Randolph Baron Davis Brandan Wright C.J. Watson Chris Cohan Chris Hunter Chris Mullin Corey Maggette Dan Dickau DeMarcus Nelson Devean George Don Nelson Gilbert Arenas Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jeff Fried Jermareo Davidson Keith Smart Kelenna Azubuike Kevin Durant Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant Larry Riley Marco Belinelli Marcus Williams Matt Barnes Mickael Pietrus Mikki Moore Monta Ellis Patrick O'Bryant Richard Hendrix Robert Rowell Rob Kurz Ronny Turiaf Stephen Curry Stephen Jackson Stephon Marbury Steve Nash Troy Murphy Vladimir Radmanovic
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