Warriors fans hope Nelson and Davis will see eye to eye.
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On the SpotBy John Schuhmann
You could call them question marks. Or maybe X-factors. Call them whatever you want. These guys have something to prove this season. NBA.com gives you 10 players (in alphabetical order) who will be under the microscope in 2006-07. For various reasons, all eyes are on them.
We start with Baron Davis.
Baron Davis, G, Warriors
Baron Davis had a nice honeymoon in Oakland at the end of the '04-05 season, but raised expectations went unfulfilled as the point guard missed 28 games and the Warriors followed a solid start with a dreadful finish last season. Davis reportedly clashed with Mike Montgomery, perhaps contributing to Montgomery's parting ways with the team this summer.
New coach Don Nelson should command more respect from his star, but he needs Davis to make some changes to both his game and his body. The body part of the equation has apparently been taken care of. Now is a chance for Davis to save his reputation and prove that last season was an aberration.
What the Papers Say
"PG Baron Davis: Davis will be asked to do something he hasn't done before -- play the cerebral game. In Nelson's system, Davis' mental game will be as vital as his physical skill.
"Denying the urge to pull-up for a random 3-pointer, knowing when to pass the ball up the court and when to push it himself, understanding when and how to get his teammates the ball, setting the tone on the defensive end, figuring out when to take over and when to defer -- these are all areas Davis will need to improve to effectively run Nelson's system."
"Davis, who was appointed by Nelson as a team captain, along with Richardson and Dunleavy, said he felt as good as he had in the past two years heading into training camp. More than anything, he looked forward to turning the page on a season that ended with mental and physical exhaustion from losing."
What the Blogs Say
"Baron has lost 15 lbs. and is saying all the right things to the media. He accepts the role of shooting guard and just wants to contribute. These public comments excuse the horrible shot selection he exhibited last year. It seemed that if Baron gave it his all, we had a chance to win. He was willing to take the big shot, even though he was not the most consistent shooter. He was trying to lead, and teammates like Dunleavy were unwilling to follow. Dun probably felt sorry for Monty and abhorred Baron's mutiny. I just hope that this organization focuses on the goal of improving and let's just see where it goes."
-- Golden State of Mind