Steinmetz: Detroit's Monroe wins Round 1 over Udoh

May 11, 2011, 6:45 pm
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I like Ekpe Udoh.I think he's the Warriors' best interior defensive player and probably their best low-post player, too. Of course, the obvious response from a cynic would be: That's not saying much. And they would be right.Still, I think Udoh, whom the Warriors selected with the No. 6 pick in last June's draft, is the kind of player you need on a team -- blocks some shots, defends on the block with effort, sets good screens and doesn't demand the ball. He's got to rebound better, but hopefully that will come.But facts are facts and Udoh received only one vote when it came to the NBA's All-Rookie team. And Detroit's Greg Monroe -- drafted one spot after Udoh -- was a second-team selection, and just two votes shy of being a first-teamer.
There was certainly a segment of Warriors fans out there who wanted the team to pick Monroe instead of Udoh last year. I wasn't one of them. I liked the Udoh pick and still do.

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Reality is, however, the Monroe supporters have won Round 1.They now have tangible proof Monroe would have been a better pick. Now, one of the nuances about the whole thing, of course, is that Udoh got hurt last summer, missed training camp and started the 2010-11 season way behind.Maybe so. But then Monroe supporters can cite their guy's durability and the 80 games he played in his first season.I still don't think the Warriors will regret their selection of Udoh, and the debate may certainly change down the line. But for now anyway, a tip of the cap out there to those who wanted Monroe.Remember though, when we're talking about comparing players, these are 15-round fights.

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