Andris Biedrins, Nelson's incumbent center, took that to heart.
Even as Webber reportedly waited in the wings, Biedrins grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds to help the Warriors hold on for a 106-104 comeback win against the Knicks.
"Of course, I take it a little bit personally, because it's my job," Biedrins said of all the talk about Webber, who will be signed by Tuesday, according to an ESPN.com report. "My job is defense and rebounds and blocked shots, so I'll try to do my job as good as I can."
Stephen Jackson scored 25 points, 16 of them in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis added 24 points and eight rebounds and Baron Davis dropped 22 points and nine assists. But this marked the 11th time this season the Warriors (27-18) had to come back from a double-digit deficit to win, and with three starters -- Ellis (44), Davis (42) and Biedrins (41) -- getting 40-plus minutes, it illustrated why Nelson has been pushing so hard for another body.
"We're going to have to probably do something to improve our roster to stay competitive," Nelson said before the game. "We're just not deep enough. We need to get deeper, no question."
Nelson sees Webber as the answer to that need because of the five-time All-Star's unusual skill set: jump-shooting
"I see a big person, a need, and I see passing skills, a big need," Nelson said of Webber's game. "I've got one passer on the team (Baron Davis), and he can't get all the assists."
Biedrins made sure that didn't happen Sunday by vacuuming up almost every miss. He finished with 54 percent of Golden State's rebounds as the Warriors held their own with the larger Knicks on the glass, 48-all.
"He got traffic rebound after traffic rebound, and that probably resulted in us getting a win that could have very easily been a loss," Nelson said.
It was the most rebounds by a Warrior in Biedrins' lifetime; no Golden State player has had as many since Larry Smith grabbed 31 on March 28, 1981 against the Denver Nuggets.
"(Biedrins) is a monster," Jackson said. "It was hard for anybody else to get a rebound, because he was getting them all."
Armed with their bruising big-man rotation of Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph and David Lee, the Knicks scored 40 of their 52 points in the first half in the paint and had 15 second-chance points to take a five-point lead at intermission.
In the second half, the Knicks got 22 rebounds as a team, compared with Biedrins' 14, and had only five second-chance points and 22 in the paint.
"Every time I looked up, he was getting a rebound," Curry said. "When I saw he had 26, I was like, 'He got cheated.' They must didn't count some tip or something. He had at least 30. It was pretty amazing."
Jackson -- who had been identified before the game by Nelson as playing tired for the Warriors' past five contests -- looked suddenly refreshed in scoring 11 of Golden State's first 12 points during the fourth quarter. Treys on back-to-back possessions by Jackson put the Warriors ahead for the first time in the second half, 84-83, with 9:21 to go.
But Nelson is far from comfortable, not with only 11 games remaining against weaker Eastern Conference competition. He's still waiting for the cavalry.
"I think you need to look deeply at that roster and look at our schedule," Nelson said. "When we start playing the West, are we going to be strong enough? I think that's a concern to everybody. ... I'm afraid if we don't get (Webber) here, our team's not strong enough to be a playoff team. That's my biggest fear."
Contact Geoff Lepper at email@example.com.
WARRIORS 106, KNICKS 104