ESS: “Jeff Van Gundy has advocated for adding a seventh foul. Would you endorse that policy?”
Andris Biedrins: “Oh ya…(chuckling) that would be great! That would really help me out!”
ESS: “What about an eighth?”
(Andris stops laughing. He pauses, and in a manner almost wistful, cites a sport that doesn’t really exist: AB remembers Summer League, the surreal place where victory is worthless, where scouts try to prove themselves wrong, and where emerging wunderkinds lose playing time to hopeless strivers. Andris’s eyes widen, his demonstrative hands talk themselves into blurs.)
“I remember in the Summer League…one time I had nine or even ten fouls. I don’t remember but it was like, a really big number in those fouls. So it worked out for me…really well for me.”
“Summer” conjures relaxation-inspired joy, euphoria that’s eventually thrown from your reality, relegated to your reveries. At least this is what I took from “Summer Nights,” when a day care grated “Grease” cheese onto my grade-school brain. People love this season, because it’s about the moment–not about time-sensitive worries.
When Andris Biedrins plays, fouls perpetually threaten to yank him from the moment, reduce him to its spectator. Even if Biedrins gets lost in what he’s doing, I certainly don’t. An opposing guard careens towards “Goose,” I cringe in anticipation of the whistle that screeches action to a halt. In real terms, these foul calls minimize his footprint on the game: He plays less, sits more. And I wonder if the foul spectre makes Andris play a less instinctual, less effective brand of defense. We’ll never know.
So, let Biedrins foul. Let him foul freely, foul often. I say this because the idea of resting a foul-drenched starter, rests on the presumption that he’ll see the fourth quarter. The second spectre–free throw shooting–keeps Andris soldered to a bench during crunch time. So keep him in, even if a ref has designs to foul him out. AB will likely play more if he’s allowed to play his way to an early six.
Blame Biedrins for his flaws, but understand that he’s one of two players who support Golden State’s unthinkable rebounding advatange. David Lee holds up the other side of that furniture piece and I’d also hate to see him cede time to Vladimir Radmonvic. Speaking of which, let this slice of Vlad’s pick and roll defense haunt your dreams like a brush with death:
Foul trouble is nothing compared to VladRad trouble.