Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SPORTSHYPE: Oaktown Revolution

Baron Davis leads the most exciting team in the NBA

To be a champion requires the heart of a Warrior. Baron's got it. It's how he dominates the game. It's how he scores at will when it matters most. How he never surrenders. Baron has tough-minded character and crazy skills and his Golden State Warriors are making a mad dash for the playoffs, and points beyond. They're hip, they're hype, they're happening. They're unpredictable, but guaranteed to thrill.

Even in the Wild West, where everyone's going for their big guns, where the Warriors' gaudy numbers are barely good enough for an eighth seed in the playoffs, nobody wants a part of this team.

So far this year, the Suns (twice), the Lakers, and the champion Spurs (twice), among many other teams, have fallen at the hands of Baron's merry band of streetballin' downtown-shootin', steal-you-blind, fastbreakin' cold-blooded assassins. Of the Western elite, only the Jazz have yet to be beaten by the speed demons of Nelson's Flying Circus. All of these teams know: when the Warriors start hitting on all cylinders, you can't catch them. No one can!

"Old School"
Monta Ellis

One of the main reasons why is the emergence of Mississippi's own "Money" Monta Ellis, the "Mississippi Bullet", "Kid Flash"! In high school, Monta scored 80 points one night. Now, in his third year with Golden State he emerges as perhaps the fastest man in the league, with an astonishing array of finishing moves. With a 15-foot jumper becoming automatic, Monta leaves defenders with two bad choices: take the jumper in your face, or watch the kid go right by you and to the rim.

Monta Ellis in 2007 Rookie-Sophomore Game

As important as the raw speed and youthful energy of Ellis is, let us not forget the (apocryphal?) quote of Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry, following his victory over a younger pitcher: "Age and corruption will beat youth and beauty every time!"

Captain Jack shows the way

Not that he's corrupt or anything, but soon-to-be 30-year-old Stephen Jackson is certainly a cold-blooded assassin. Time after time this year, in desperate situations, injured, in the fourth quarter and overtime, under pressure, the three-pointers of Jack would blot out the sun. He was suspended for the first seven games of the season as punishment for firing a gun in the air outside a strip club. He arrived in camp showing off his new tattoo to the press:

Praying hands holding a gun. It meant, he said, "I pray I never have to use a gun again."

And must give props to Dre! Goose! Beans! Whatever they're calling the big man this week. The Latvian giant has held down the front-court for Nellie's undersized and overspeed lineups all year, and he has not only survived, he has prospered -- remember him tying Shaq's record for most games in a row with over 60% shooting, or his monstrous 26-rebound night against the Knicks? Finally a center with excellent hands and feet, hard-working, never-complaining, Warrior fans give it up for Andris Biedrins!

If only his beautiful girlfriend could fatten him up on Aukstais galds back in the homeland in the offseason. Twenty more pounds, and he'll play like Ivan Drago boxes!

Golden State Warriors
Golden State of Mind - Warrior Fan Blog
Fast Break - Warrior Fan Blog

Golden State Warriors - Here I Come
Golden State Warriors - Baron At War

Recent blockbuster trades (see "Big Men Go West", below) have the experts writing the Dubs' obituary all over again, but this is a team that thrives on adversity, often at their best with their backs against the wall -- in the last thirty games of this 2007-08 regular season, they will fight to achieve greatness.

Go Warriors!
We believe... the Hype.

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