Greatest playoff show on earth?
By Steve Kerr
Saturday, May 12, 2007 2:32 am EDT
OK, this is getting ridiculous.
Baron Davis is putting on a show that is so outrageous -- so stunningly athletic and creative and explosive -- that I am now planning on TiVo-ing every Golden State Warriors game from here until they are eliminated. (Or until they win it all.)
Davis' nine-game playoff run has been so dominant and exciting that it's almost time to begin to put it into historical context. How many players have put together a postseason stretch like this in the history of the game? I'll put that one out to my readers: Please list below the last time you witnessed an NBA player on a playoff streak like the one Davis is on? (Besides Michael Jordan -- I know about him.)
It's not just Davis' numbers, although they are spectacular -- 27 points per game, 55-percent shooting, 42-percent from three -- compared to his regular-season stats of 20, 44 percent and 30 percent. It's the manner in which Davis is controlling games. It's the spectacular drives to the hole, the spin moves, the up-and-unders and the splitting of double teams. Of course, it was all punctuated Friday night by the powerful, shocking, one-hand slam on Andrei Kirilenko's head that put a 125-105 victory away for the Warriors.
With Davis, the concern has always been about conditioning and injuries. I have to admit, there's a part of me that keeps waiting for something bad to happen. It's been that way his whole career. As soon as Davis looks ready to break through and become a superstar, he's either injured or out of shape.
In Game 6 of the Dallas series when Davis tweaked his hamstring, it looked like he and Golden State were done. But he was able to play on one leg, lead his team to victory and then rest up for the next series. Now he's back terrorizing the Utah Jazz, much to the delight of the impartial basketball world.
There's not a player in the NBA -- or any other league, for that matter -- who can stay in front of this guy. And since he's playing for Don Nelson, the floor is his. What a perfect marriage between these two: Nellie provides the freedom, Davis brings the talent and, with plenty of help from some great athletes around him, the Warriors are on an amazing roll.
Oracle Arena was rocking again Friday, and on Sunday the Golden State fans will be back and vocal as ever, trying to help their team even the series at 2. Can the Warriors do it? I would think so.
The Jazz players were talking after the game about how many jump shots they settled for, how they neglected to get the ball inside. But it's difficult to follow the game plan in that atmosphere. Golden State is flying, its fans are screaming and the adrenaline is pumping. It's tough not to take a jump shot when you're open, but somehow Utah will have to slow things down a bit, get the ball inside and try to take some air out of the building.
Losing Deron Williams to foul trouble really hurt the Jazz because he's the one Utah player who can at least make Davis work on the defensive end and maybe wear him out. But without Williams on the court, Davis was free to simply take over. When he did -- and when the Warriors' fans whipped themselves into a frenzy -- there was no way the Jazz were going to control the pace.
So how long can this magical run continue, both for Davis and Golden State? We'll see. All I know is that I've been watching the NBA for a long time, and I don't remember seeing so many players play so well in so many playoff games in a row.
Davis is on a ridiculous roll. And it is unbelievably fun to watch.
Hard to argue with this article by Kerr! Baron is doing unbelieveable
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