Brandin Podziemski quickly is learning what it takes to build a career in the NBA. One of his Warriors teammates has taken notice.
“He’s a very confident guy,” Golden State superstar Steph Curry said of Podziemski after Warriors practice Tuesday. “He feels like he belongs, he knows he belongs and he works. He has a style that he understands is going to translate to the league, and [he’s learning] how he can make an impact on the game.”
Podziemski has been a bright spot through Warriors training camp and preseason. In three exhibition games, the 20-year-old is averaging 7.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 27.3 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 25 percent (2 of 8) from 3-point range.
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The No. 19 overall pick notched 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting in the Warriors' preseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 7 and tallied a double-double in the rematch six days later. During the Warriors’ 121-115 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, Podziemski was held to four points on 1-of-5 shooting, but he contributed six rebounds and four assists in the overtime win.
The results can be traced back to Podziemski's studious approach.
"Studying the process of how we prepare for practice, games, how we see the game -- he’s asking questions," Curry said of his young teammate. "He’s very active in that part of reaching out and trying to gather as much knowledge as he can.
"When he’s out there playing, you all can already tell. He’s got a presence about him. That’s what you want to see from a rookie coming in – be fearless, understand you have a lot to learn, go out and compete. And he’s been doing that."
Golden State Warriors
Curry isn't the only member of the Warriors organization to vocalize Podziemski's progress this fall. Gary Payton II is the rookie's prominent instructor on defense, and coach Steve Kerr has been impressed with the results.
“He just gets a ton of deflections, which is an indicator that he anticipates really well,” Kerr said earlier this month. “I think that’s one of the things our scouts really liked about him was he has a knack for the ball, whether it’s rebounding or getting a hand on a pass or making a steal.
“He may not have the length and the bounce that you look for, but he’s got the feel and the knack, and that’s equally, if not more, important.”