MINNEAPOLIS — The six-year, $54 million contract center Andris Biedrins signed in the offseason is looking like a bargain.
With his 10-point, 13-rebound effort in the Warriors' 118-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night, Biedrins notched his 27th double-double of the season. That matches his total from last season with 22 games remaining. He's also missed six games with injuries. Biedrins is on pace to reach his incentives, which pretty much awards him an extra $1 million if he averages a double-double.
After Tuesday, he's averaging 12.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game (last season: 10.5 points, 9.8 rebounds), making him one of 11 players in the league to average a point-rebound double-double.
Not even coach Don Nelson thought Biedrins would improve with point guard Baron Davis out of the lineup.
"Baron gave him a lot of scores," Nelson said. "I think he's had a good year. I'm satisfied. I wouldn't say impressed."
Biedrins' annual base salary of $9 million pales in comparison with some of the league's other big-money big men. Miami's Jermaine O'Neal is getting $21.3 million for 13.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Defensive specialist Ben Wallace is getting $14.5 million from Cleveland. Philadelphia's Samuel Dalembert is getting $10.5 million for 6.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Biedrins' salary, even if he reaches his incentives, is looking like a bargain.
"I'm happy that I'm getting better every year," Biedrins said before the game. "I did really great this summer practice-wise, getting in shape and doing the right things. I don't feel tired at all."
Off the glass
Forward Corey Maggette entered Tuesday's game leading all reserves (who have come off the bench at least 20 games) in scoring at 19.9 points per game. His 47.9 percent shooting is second only to Phoenix's Leandro Barbosa (48.4). Dallas' Jason Terry is averaging 19.7 points on 46.5 percent shooting. New York's Nate Robinson is at 17.6 points and 45 percent shooting. San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, the defending NBA Sixth Man of the Year, is averaging 16.1 points per game on 46 percent shooting. But two things are working against Maggette for this season's award. One, he's started 19 of the 41 games in which he's played. Only Milwaukee's Charlie Villanueva has started more (30) among the top candidates. The second reason is the Warriors' record (21-39), which is the worst among the top candidates. ... Ronny Turiaf did not play Tuesday. He said he was under the weather but expects to play today in Chicago. ... Monta Ellis remained in Mississippi with a family emergency and didn't accompany the team to Minneapolis. He is not expected back tonight, according to a team official.
— Marcus Thompson II