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This year, just play ball Baron

Last season, the hopes and dreams of Warrior fans rested on the shoulders of Baron Davis. He had to be the leader on and off the floor, be the All-Star caliber player expected of him, and be the team representative. This year it's different. All he has to do is play ball and the rest will figure itself out. Nellie's offense has never been focused around one player and this year Baron doesn't have to do everything.

To let Davis and his teammates know that it isn't, and shouldn't, only be about Davis, lifting them up or knocking them down and getting singularly praised or accosted in the aftermath.

He has played Davis lightly -- and preached sharing the ball, sharing responsibility and sharing the blame.

"We're going to depend on him at times -- he's a great player," Dunleavy said of Davis before the game. "(But) last year, it was like everything was on him. And that's really unfair for a guy.

The team is going to have to learn to play without Baron because if history is any indicator, he'll get injured and miss at least a couple weeks during the season. So whether or not he's playing the team should still be able to compete at a high leve.

If Davis is playing well, the Warriors should play well. If he isn't, the Warriors shouldn't automatically be sunk.

That takes some of the burden off him and removes some of the risk of depending wholly on his oft-achy legs, back and psyche.

"He's just been all eyes and ears early. He's done whatever I've asked him to do. He's been a good pupil."

Baron has the potential to be an All-Star. Will he realize that potential this season under Nellie and challenge for an All-Star spot?

Also make sure to check out Tim Kawakami Talks to Baron Davis and BD Talks to Gabrielle Union.

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