Monday , Dec , 22 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Marco Belinelli Finally Getting Playing Time

Sure, he has been in the league since the Warriors’ drafted him with the No. 18 overall pick in 2007. And he’s certainly collected more than a third of the nearly $5 million he will earn over his first three seasons.

But Belinelli said it wasn’t until now that he felt as if he’d arrived. For the first time in his career, he said he feels as if he is part of the team. He’s getting minutes, providing offense and growing with teammates.

There’s no telling how long this will last, as the Warriors’ injured players figure to return and Coach Don Nelson’s whims are likely to change. In the meantime, Belinelli is enjoying the experience.

"It’s so different,” he said after Saturday’s victory at Charlotte. "Everything’s different. Oh my god, one year and a half. It was tough because I didn’t play. One year is long to sit and watch your teammates play.”