Saturday, May 3, 2014

Golden State Warriors Upset The Dallas Mavericks

On May 3, 2007, the Golden State Warriors completed one of the biggest upsets in sports history with a game-six win, taking the Western Conference Quarterfinals from the NBA Leading Dallas Mavericks.

It all started in April though, the Golden State Warriors were done. After a one-point loss in Washington, where the deciding point came from a technical foul by head coach Don Nelson in the final seconds, the Warriors had lost six in a row. They were nine games under .500 and Nelson was already looking ahead to the next season.

The Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Dallas Mavericks in 2007.
But in their next game, the team - fresh off of a trade in which they acquired Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. They Warriors into Detroit, one of the best teams in the NBA at the time, and destroyed them, leading by 26 at point.

Golden State won 16 of their final 21 games and nine of their last ten to advance to the postseason for the first time in 13 years.

The Warriors met the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, a team Don Nelson had coached only a few years earlier. The Warriors were the only team to beat the Mavericks three times and had won six of the last seven meetings with them.

But with the Warriors as an eight-seed, and the Mavericks as the best team in basketball, no one gave them much of a chance.

Nevertheless, the upset took place. Backed by a raucous home crowd, the Warriors defeated the Mavericks in just six games. Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, and Matt Barnes had the series of their lives, while the Mavericks appeared rattled by the Warriors’ unorthodox style.

 Baron Davis and the "We Believe" crowd at Oracle after a Game 6 upset of the Dallas Mavericks.
Nelson went small-ball on the Mavs, playing small forward Al Harrington at center, shooting guard Stephen Jackson at power forward, and Monta Ellis at shooting guard.

In the end, their frenetic style was simply too much for the Mavs. On May 3, the Warriors completed the upset by crushing the Mavericks, 111-86 in Game 6. It was the first time in American sports that a team that won 25 games less than its opponent went on to win the playoff series.

In the second round they faced Jerry Sloan's Utah Jazz, who muscled their way to a five-game series win. It was a one-shot wonder for the Warriors, who lost most of their roster only a few years later. As for the Mavs, they remained competitive, but another early exit in 2008 cost head coach Avery Johnson his job.

The Golden State Warriors once again made the playoffs this year, the second time in as many years, and once again faced an uphill battle against the Los Angeles Clippers.

However this year the Warriors playoff series was almost derailed by the shameful remarks that former Clippers owner Donald Sterling made.

Game 7 of the series between the Warriors and Clippers is tonight at the Staples Center in L.A.