A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Wow, are the Warriors for real?

Late to this but the Chron noted last Sunday that the 4-4 road trip was historic.
  • Only 5th team with sub-.500 record to win at least 4 of 8 games on a road trip since 76-77;
  • Warriors won 4 games on a trip for first time since 78-79, amazing since Don Nelson's clubs usually were pretty good, especially with Run TMC;

Then they've won 3 of 4 since then, only losing by 3 points to Houston, who has been on a total hot streak for a couple of months, plus beaten the Kings home and then away plus beat Phoenix on the road, even though their four of their players - Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson, and Steve Nash - had really good games.

In addition, Andris Biedrins and Zarko Cabarkapa have played well in spurts since they started getting more regular playing time. And Mike Dunleavey has come alive since Baron Davis joined the team. As well as Jason Richardson and, heck, the rest of the team.

It has just been beyond amazing what the team has done since Baron Davis came along. The team had been scraping by for so long that I did not think that they were just one player away from being competitive, even if we had gotten somehow Shaq or Kidd or Iverson. And yet, here we are, the Warriors have won 7 of 11 after three games (losses, but each less than the one before plus playing Detroit, the defending champions, to a virtual standstill for much of the game) of introducing Baron to the team and integrating him into the offense and defense.

Can it be? Has the fog of Nelson-Webber finally lifted from this valley of woe? Ironically, this shifting of the Warriors fortunes has almost coincided with Webber's trade to the 76ers, sending him away from NorCal, and the resignation of Nelly from the Dallas Mavericks as coach.

And Mully, sorry for doubting you but you are finally fulfilling the hopes of Warrior fans who were excited at your addition to the management structure and then promoted to the top position. All the manuevering to get out from the cap, the addition of players who looked good, but then the valley of this past offseason with the questionable addition of Fisher and questionable signing of Foyle plus the poor performance all season until Baron came along and made everything suddenly make sense on the court.

With only 15 games left, there is no chance for any playoffs, but obviously they are playing in preparation for next season. But perhaps they can take as a stretch goal catching the Clippers. At the rate they've been playing, the Clips should still end up with 36 wins, which would mean the Warriors would have to go 13-2 just to catch them. But teams have faded in the past and the Warriors have played a lot of good teams tough since Baron came along. So while it is unlikely, then at least they wouldn't be last in the division.


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