Well for my first diary here on GSoM, I'm going to take the very unpopular view that Baron Davis, was a positive leader last season, to a point. But first, I need to concede the negatives... He is overpaid. He gave up on the team in March. He shot way, way too many 3s. He is not the most "coachable" player.
The defense begins with a look back at why was he, and subsequently the GSW, successful at the end of 04-05? It wasn't b/c of BD running the half court. It was penetrate/dish.
Granted, we beat playoff teams by sneaking up on them. Baron had a lot to prove. He was on an extended injury-vacation and came out firing on all pistons. No, he wasn't a sharp shooter, but he showed the WarriorNation that he could step up and hit the big 3. No longer would rising superstar J Rich need to do it all alone. Yada, yada, we all bought into it and were anticpating 05-06 with baited breath.
November found the Warriors winning, but surprisingly, with defense. This confused us since it wasn't the way to become Suns-Lite. Unfortunately, we never realized that they are a far, far superior, consistent 3 point shooting club. Still, Baron was working very hard setting up shots for our shooters, and getting to the line.
The losing started with the East coast road trip in December. And, we never adjusted. The shooting was still horrible, and the attention to defense disappeared. Baron was still producing, even scoring a triple double in a 110-104 loss to the Lakers on 1/14.
I just don't believe that Baron's reign of the offense was responsible for that disappointing season. I think we were just trying to be the Suns-Lite when maybe we would have been more successful being the Pistons-Lite. Just like we lived and died with the 3 point shot, we lived and died with Baron as our saviour. He's not the guy to carry us for 82 games. He's too fragile and not consistent enough. He is one of the best at creating in transition, and attacking double teams. Why we couldn't capitalize on that and keep him from settling for jump shots? I'll never know.
I still like what Baron can do and this year, I'm not expecting him to carry us. I'm hoping for contributions from role players and a dedication to team defense every night. Consistency and desire go along way in today's NBA. Our players need to learn that lesson. Hopefully, they have.