What Golden State Can Learn From The 2006-2007 Warriors Team
I told you it would be OK, Golden State fans.
Sure, Steph Curry had been colder than a winter's day in Russia, and LeBron was making Matthew Dellavedova look like Steve Nash, but doesn't that feel like so long ago now?
It could've been a horror story this morning, but instead you're waking up to a tied series and a best two out of three on your home court.
I'm not sure why you panicked, you were just here. Your team was down two games to one against Memphis in the Western Conference semis, then they rattled off three straight wins to set up a date with the Rockets.
Steph Curry, the NBA MVP, had the most points in these playoffs (510) going into last night, so he was bound to get back on track sooner or later.
And don't forget, your Warriors won 67 games in the regular season, finishing with the best record in the league, so winning ways couldn't have been far off.
What you need to do now, before watching your team battle in the most important NBA game of the season, is to lock in.
And the best way to do that is by looking to the past for a little inspiration; to a Golden State team of a bygone era.
The 2006-2007 Golden State Warriors weren't as flashy or as talented as the current squad, but what they lacked in skill they more than made up for with their will.
Grit, physicality and determination defined that squad, and Curry and Co. would do well to show these characteristics if they plan on putting a stranglehold on the 2015 NBA Finals.
The Splash Brothers should keep shooting, the team as a whole needs to continue to be effective down low and the Warriors have to keep doing anything and everything to frustrate LeBron -- here's to you, Andrew Bogut.
Listen up, Steph, Klay and Draymond, because Baron, Stephen and Jason are going to remind you what it means to keep your foot on the gas.
Let's take a trip back to the last time the Golden State Warriors were playoff contenders.
The 2006-2007 Warriors started with a road win in Game 1, and this year's team did the same thing in Game 4.
After creeping into the 2006-2007 postseason with a record of 42-40, the eighth-seed Warriors shocked the one-seed Mavericks by winning Game 1 in Dallas.
Baron Davis finished with 33 points and 15 rebounds, Stephen Jackson added another 23 and Matt Barnes came off the bench to provide a much-needed boost.
That look on Marc Cuban's face says it all, doesn't it?
While the Mavs faltered at home, The Warriors had Oracle rocking for Game 3.
Despite coming back down to earth in Game 2, the Warriors showed the pedigrees of champions by making sure they didn't squander home court advantage like Dallas did in Game 1.
Every Golden State starter finished in double figures that night, while not a single Maverick finished with a plus rating.
High energy, high tempo and a highlight for the 2014-2015 Warriors to follow.
The Oracle needs to raise the roof come Sunday night.
The Warriors put a stranglehold on the series thanks to a come from behind victory in Game 4.
If the Warriors were feeling any pressure heading into Game 4, they certainly didn't show it.
Donnie Nelson's team knew they had a chance to go up three games to one in the series, but they brought the same determined approach to this game that they had shown all series long.
B Diddy was his consistent self with 33 points from the field, including this ridiculous half-court shot to close out the first half, but French international Michael Pietrus proved to be the difference.
With Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis failing to make an impact as starters, Pietrus came off the bench to score 16 points in just under 27 minutes.
The 2014-2015 Warriors are going to have to shoot and claw there way to a win in Game 5.
With the Mavericks looking to force a Game 7 in Dallas, the Warriors pulled off the greatest upset in NBA playoffs history.
Even after a surprise road win in Game 1, no one – outside of the Bay Area – thought the Warriors were capable of upsetting the number one seed in the series.
And if you bet the Warriors were going to wake up on the morning of Game 6 and suddenly remember they were nothing more than a .500 team in the regular season, well, you'd have been out some cash.
Not only did the Warriors close out the Mavs in six, they beat them to a pulp in front of a sold-out Oracle Arena crowd.
Stephen Jackson set a playoff career high, Biedrins, Baron and Barnes all finished with double-doubles and Dallas was defeated by 25 points.
Let the confetti rain.
The 2006-2007 Warriors ran out of gas against Utah, but they took their place in NBA history.
The Warriors lost in five games to the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2007 playoffs, but they accomplished more than anyone thought possible – maybe even themselves.
On paper, the 2014-2015 Warriors are almost the exact opposite of the 2006-2007 squad. Steve Kerr's team won 25 more games than Don Nelson's and entered the 2015 postseason as the top overall seed.
But both teams had to overcome deficits.
Currently, Golden State find themselves level with a team that features the most talented basketball player on the planet.
There mission now is to make sure they don't let home-court advantage slip in Game 5.
With LeBron looking to spoil the party and swing momentum back Cleveland's way, this will be no easy task; but it's no more daunting than the one the 2006-2007 Warriors faced eight years ago.
Golden State fans believed then, and there's no reason they shouldn't believe now.
Citations: 2014-15 Golden State Warriors Roster and Stats (Basketball Reference), 2006-07 Golden State Warriors Roster and Stats (Basketball Reference), Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors Box Score, May 3, 2007 (Basketball Reference)