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

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Amazing Baron Completely Changed the Warriors

The Warriors just beat the Jazz. No big deal since the Warriors are 11-7 since Baron Davis joined the team and 7-1 in their last eight games. However, they also posted their first five-game road winning streak since November 1978. 1978!!! There were good teams, many of them, during the Don Nelson regime (though none before or after...) but none of the achieved such a feat. Plus, this is their first win in Utah in 20 games or over 10 years ago, though these Jazz are a pale imitation of the great teams they had the previous 10 years.

The man is amazing! I thought the Warriors had some nice pieces before the trade but not enough to be winning regularly yet. But Baron has come in and changed things around and moving the team in 180 degree direction from what they were going in before.

  • Before trade, headed towards a Top 4 worse record in the league; after trade, winning at a rate that would translate into the 5th best record in the Western Conference.
  • Before trade, waning hope that the new regime of Chris Mullin and Mike Montgomery would be able to change the luck of the franchise; after trade, fans are thinking about making the playoffs next year and what the Warriors need to do to improve themselves.
  • Before trade, wondering about the players on the bench, how talented they are; after trade, Mickael Pietrus has took off, averaging over 20 point a game over the past 5 games, Mike Dunleavy got mad enough to get thrown out (and even ripped off and threw his shirt in the crowd) and has been playing as if inspired, Andris Biedrins has played well in spurts, showing why he was traded, Zarko Cabarkapa has had some breakout games, scoring over 20 points, and even Adonal Foyle has started to begin justifying his big contract that he signed in the off-season.

Not only that, but the Clippers has had an extended losing streak and the Warriors are inching closer to them. They are still pretty far away to catch and the Warriors are still unlikely to catch them, but now they are only 4.5 games away instead of the 8 games just 4 games ago. And it is not just that they are finally beating the lousy teams, though that helps. They have played well against teams that they couldn't even touch previously, like beating Sacramento, Phoenix (both on the road even!), Sacramento again, losing by 3 to Houston, losing by 4 to defending champs Detroit, Washington, and Minnesota, and losing by 6 to Detroit. They are competitive not only with the middle of the pack but have been playing the elite teams not just to a standstill but also beating them regularly as well.

The Warriors have been 7-2 since Baron took over the starting spot. The sand is not getting kicked in their face as much and, not only that, they have been taking it to a number of good teams as well. The light appears to be at the end of the long dark tunnel that we Warrior fans have travelled in since Chris Webber was traded away and the light is good.


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