Warriors: Comparing This Year’s Team to the ‘We Believe’ Squad


A comparison like this was likely to come along at some point this season. How many actually predicted that the Golden State Warriors would make the playoffs this year? That’s right, almost none of the analysts and critics.

What about 2007? Pretty much the same case.

Here, however, the Warriors were almost a lock for the playoffs ever since their legendary road winning streak, knocking off quality teams like the Nets, Heat, and Hawks. That magic all contributed to the Warriors’ playoff push.

The difference about the other Warrior team is that they started the season poorly, and were left dead in the water. They did, however, finish 16-5, and after, they torched the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Yes, we’ll all remember that. I would rather have a team finish hot than start hot and finish cold. For the Warriors, they haven’t had a terrible end to the season, but they’re definitely not riding any sort of momentum right into the playoffs.

What separates this team from the 2007 team was that the fans of 2007 were more eager and hungry, since it had been 15 years since the Dubs had clinched a playoff spot. It has been six years now, and the fans may not be so eager. That may affect the energy and the life in the building. Honestly, I don’t think that Warrior fans are going to change much, but it could be a small difference, which is another X-factor.

In 2007, the “We Believe” team was all about energy and magic. The players fed off the crowd’s energy and pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NBA history, becoming the first 8th seed to knock off a top seed in a 7-game series. It was no doubt legendary, but there is a question looming for this year’s team: can they pull off another upset with all the odds against them?

Currently in seventh, the Warriors may have to play a team like the San Antonio Spurs. Not exactly a favorable matchup, as the Warriors haven’t won in San Antonio since before Tim Duncan was drafted.

Position by Position..

April 09, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) drives in against Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Dante Cunningham (33) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-89 to clinch a playoff berth. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

1. Baron Davis vs. Stephen Curry:

Young, energetic point guard? Check. All-Star snub? Check. Leader of the team? Check. Amazing three point shooter, built on flash, fire, and energy? Check.

It’s uncanny how similar these guys are. Baron Davis may have gotten into more slumps than Curry did, but that’s good for Curry because he is a lights out shooter. Other teams have problems with him no matter how many guys they launch at him. He always makes his jump-shot look so smooth. Curry may be a bit less experienced than Davis, but it’s the first round of the playoffs. Inexperience doesn’t take its effect until later.

2. Monta Ellis vs. Klay Thompson:

Ah the old matchup. Just last season, Klay Thompson backed up Ellis, and eventually took-over the role after the huge trade. Thompson, so far, has done a good job, and allowed Curry to be the real scorer that he is.

This matchup is key because Thompson will likely produce more than Ellis did in the 2007 playoffs. Thompson will do well enough to fill in the role, but is it enough to beat the Spurs?

I think so, because Thompson is one of the purest shooters, and he hits big shots at big moments. Every minute he plays will be a big moment.

3. Stephen Jackson/Matt Barnes vs Harrison Barnes:

Jan 26, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) backs down on Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) during the third quarter at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Funny how these things work isn’t it? How is it so that Matt Barnes and Harrison Barnes play the same position, give the same output, and are mirror images of each other? The only difference between them is the years apart.

Then, there’s Stephen Jackson, the guy who made so many three pointers in the playoffs, I thought other teams would sit down, curl up in a ball, and cry. Unlike Jackson, Harrison Barnes is a flashy, drive-to-the-basket kind of guy who is more exciting.

In terms of getting the crowd into it, Harrison Barnes could do more. In terms of scoring, however, he needs to average about 13-14 PPG in the playoffs, probably more.

4. Al Harrington vs. David Lee:

This is a pretty weird matchup considering the fact that Harrington is a PF, because he does play like a shooting guard. He is a great shooter, and not a tough guy.

On the other hand, David Lee is a terrible defender, and a quick guy on the inside. I also forgot to mention that he’s a monster on the glass. Again, this is a very interesting matchup.

5. Andris Biedrins vs. Andrew Bogut:

Well, it’s a bit hard to compare these guys, since Biedrins is still on the team. In the playoffs, however, Biedrins gave a solid contribution, whether it was blocks, rebounds, or scoring each night.

The rebounds and blocks are there for Bogut, but he’s still trying to piece together his offensive game. Oh yeah, he’s also working on yet another ankle injury that has Warrior fans turning their heads yet again.