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Murphy switching to center in Warriors' new offense

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Troy Murphy figures he's a perfect fit to
shift to center in new coach Don Nelson's up-tempo offense. Adonal
Foyle is determined to drop a few pounds and prove he deserves
ample playing time, too.

The 6-foot-11 Murphy will move from power forward to the middle
for the Golden State Warriors this season, and Nelson plans to use
Foyle -- who two years ago signed a cushy new six-year deal worth
nearly $42 million -- more on a by-need, matchup basis.

Nelson is already doing many things differently from what his
players have been used to as he begins his second stint coaching
the Warriors. They have missed the playoffs in 12 straight seasons
since Nellie last took this team to the postseason in 1994 during
his initial tenure in Oakland.

Nelson, hired in a surprise move Aug. 30 to replace Mike
Montgomery, is known for using four-guard lineups with an
undersized center.

"That's great. I'm looking forward to it," Murphy said. "I've
seen the way he uses big guys who can shoot. I'm excited to play
for him. Playing against centers and more physical guys, that means
centers also will be covering me, which is what we're looking for.
I don't think there are any centers who can cover me. I'll have to
do my best on defense. I think it's going to be really good."

Murphy has averaged a double-double in scoring and rebounding in
three of his previous four seasons and ranked sixth in the league
at 10 rebounds per game last season. He scored 14 points per game
and made 78.7 percent of his free throws, a statistic that goes a
long way with Nelson considering the coach knows how many close
games Golden State lost at the line in the recent past.

"He's already shown me what I wanted to see -- him buying into
playing center," Nelson said of Murphy. "If he's able to play
some Five, it would really help in my scheme of things."

Nelson has made it clear he expects more than just Murphy to
carry the rebounding load, calling for every player to improve his
game and make adjustments to a new style of play.

He wants these men thin, and asked players to show up for
training camp five pounds lighter.

"To run, everybody has to be in great shape," Murphy said.
"You want to be in shape and you want to be lean and skinny. I'm
sure as the season progresses and training camp progresses there
will be adjustments I have to make."

Nelson is even demanding better free-throw shooting from stars
Baron Davis and Jason Richardson if they want to be on the floor in
crunch time -- and hasn't hidden the fact he wants Davis to lose a
few pounds from his 6-3 frame.

Foyle, beginning his 10th NBA season after the Warriors selected
him with the eighth overall pick in the 1997 draft, averaged 4.5
points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 77 games last season and
doesn't plan to sit on the bench without first doing his best to
change Nelson's mind.

"Adonal is a wonderful person," Nelson said. "Certain nights
he will play against the bigger centers and certain nights he won't
play as much."

For Foyle, already hearing that Nelson expects him to assume a
lesser role is disappointing. But the 6-10 center is down to 268
pounds from his playing weight of 277 last year and would like to
be around 260 when the season tips off.

"What are you going to do? Part of the deal is you go along
with the philosophy and you try to force the matter a little bit in
terms of your play and make yourself more open to playing different
positions and doing different things," Foyle said. "My job is to
get into the best shape I can possibly get in and to be ready to
show all the different dimensions of my game so he can see the cost
of not playing me."