The Warriors are the hottest team in the NBA and are now 9-7 after starting the season with six straight losses. Baron Davis is playing like he wants to be in New Orleans next year for the All Star Game. He is giving his team a chance to win every game with his leadership and playmaking ability.
Stephen Jackson's return has helped out also because he can bring the ball up and set up the offense when Davis is on the bench. Jackson proved his worth last week when he made two straight three-pointers at the end of the game in Sacramento to propel the Warriors to a win. Jackson and Davis are the two players on the team that are not afraid to take and make big shots. Bay Area fans were worried that the loss of Jason Richardson would hurt the team but that is not the case. Richardson was a streaky scorer who had too many defensive lapses throughout his career in Oakland. He never made many clutch shots for the Warriors as well. His replacement, Kelenna Azubuike, has already made one game-winning shot this season in Philadelphia. Azubuike is showing he can fill the shoes of J-Rich and the only two things that J-Rich does better than Azubuike is rebound and dunk.
21-year-old Andris Biedrins has improved since Jackson returned from his six game suspension. He is making his free throws and playing well on defense. He is also catching the ball better in the paint and converting when Davis and Jackson dish him the ball.
Second-year pro Monta Ellis is also contributing and has elevated his game from last season. Ellis has shown the ability to drive and kick out to open shooters. He can also shoot the midrange jumper effectively and the only thing he needs to work on is his three-point shooting.
The Warriors are showing they are a good team by defeating the good teams as well as the teams that they are supposed to beat. A perfect example was last night when they defeated the young and inexperienced Seattle team led by Kevin Durant. They were up by 20 for most of the game and this gave Don Nelson the chance to rest Davis and keep him on the bench for more minutes than usual. This will definitely help Davis tonight when the Warriors get back on the court tonight against the Orlando Magic.
Davis should be able to do anything he wants against Jameer Nelson tonight. Dwight Howard will be tough to stop and the Warriors will double him most of the time when he has the ball in the paint. The Magic are 3-1 on their five game road trip. This is their last game on the trip and most of their players are ready to go home. Give the Warriors the edge tonight as the Magic are probably too road weary to keep up with the Warriors. The Magic are already satisfied with their trip and will be more focused on their flight than the game itself.