Life After Baron Davis: What's in Store For 2008-2009 Warriors?

Dave FinocchioSenior Writer IAugust 2, 2008

Expect the Golden State Warriors to regress without Baron Davis during the 2008-2009 season. Not a significant step back, but they’re more likely to win 42 games than 48.

On the court, Davis is one of the few point guards in the league who is capable of truly excelling in a Don Nelson system.

He’s also a guy that wants the ball in his hands in the 4th quarter (not so rare), and makes more than he misses (very rare).

All contending teams has one of these guys:

Celtics: Paul Pierce
Lakers: Kobe Bryant
Spurs: Manu Ginobili
Cavs: Lebron James
Warriors: ??

Off the court, Baron is a dynamic personality that single-handedly re-made the Warriors into a mainstream commodity in the Bay Area. The guy sold jerseys, put fan in the stands, and helped wives, girlfriends, and mothers get through games.

It’s essential that the Baron-less Warriors immediately establish their own personality, as the “we don’t give a sh*t / we do things our own way” days of Baron Davis and company are over.

Ellis, Maggette, and Biedrins are far more basketball players than they are personalities. So perhaps the only way to replace Davis is to win.

The Warriors do have a great young core (one that’s now locked up for the next 5 years), and if they can improve through developing their recent draft picks, and filling in whatever gaps exist in two years through free-agency, it’s not out of the question that they could emerge as one of the new-powerhouses in the Western Conference, alongside the Hornets and Lakers during the next two-three years.

If you haven't already, read Dave's take on the upside and downside of the Warriors' divorce from Baron Davis.