Representing Great Britain
It may seem hard to believe but as the season began Azubuike made fans actually think J-Rich wouldn't be missed. Most Warrior fans attribute his beginning to a significant role during Novemeber right when Stephen Jackson was suspended and a big East Coast road trip lay ahead. However his rise to stardom was in the vegas summer League where him and Bellineli were the two stars and earned attention for his gritty defense something which mantaained his spot on the Roster.
After a terrific November where even this game winning shot against the 76ers Azubuike was highlighted more for his Defensive performances where he arguably performed better against Kobe then anyone else we've thrown at him the latter stage of the season. Azubuike also went from playing above the rim in the early season to fighting below it for rebounds or loose balls by the end. To me, the changes signify a player looking to fit in however he can. When the Warriors needed a scoring two-guard, he was it. When they needed a pseudo-power forward, he hit the boards. And when the original defensive stopper - Jackson - struggled to stay with his man, Kelenna stepped up to the challenge. MP should have been taking notes on how to perform in a contract year. Azubuike will likely be nicely rewarded right before his opt deadline of June 25th
Nuggets owned us this year except for this play!
If you want weaknesses he stepped out of his role too much, especially down the stretch, and he wasn’t as consistent from behind the arc. His defense was poor (Kobe exception)sometimes, but that could be expected from a second-year player. He's also developing knee problems already which could affect his Contract demands. Basically he wants more money then the mimimum deal he was offered. The Warriors would need to ask themselves is investing money at a possible injuy prone player worth it and his PPG average from 12 in November went down to 8.5. Two questions for fans next season is can he become more then a bench player and average 12-15 Points off it or combine the gritty intelligence of his late season games with the high-flying scoring of his early-season minutes. Interesting times lie ahead
Overall Grade C-
Kelenna Azubuike Irish Warriors Archive
Midterm Report Cards Grade C
2007-2008 Irish Warriors Report cards Archive
Chris Mullin C+