I seriously love Baron Davis.
And no, this did not just start recently, when everyone in America finally took notice of his natural talent and jumped on the Warriors' bandwagon.
I would say the day the Warriors acquired Baron Davis, I became his number one fan.
I instantly bought his jersey, and was ecstatic that a player of Baron's caliber was on my little shitty Warriors team. He was our star; no longer was the face of the Warriors Todd Fuller—it was Baron freakin' Davis.
Fast forward to the past few weeks, and Davis' blowup in the playoffs. Did it surprise me? No—he always had the ability and swagger of a first-team NBA player, if not for his persistent injury problems.
But something hit a nerve in Game Two against the Jazz last night. Baron Davis—the leader of our team—went to the line with 15 seconds left and the Warriors up one.
Who else would we rather have on the hot seat?
But Baron missed his second attempt. If he'd hit it—a 15-foot, unobstructed gimmie—he would have essentially won the game and tied the series for my Warriors.
Instead, Deron Williams hit an easy jumper and the Jazz went on to win in overtime, just as any home playoff team should.
Let me reiterate this fact for you, in case you missed it: Baron missed his second free throw. Missed it.
No All-Star, leader, or big-time player misses a free throw with the game on the line. Anybody who knows basketball knows it's unacceptable. And even though Baron scored a game-high 36 points, it was that one miss that mattered most.
I will continue to live and die by Baron Davis, as I have done since the Warriors traded for him. I just hope that everyone realizes that this missed shot was the biggest shot he has taken thus far in the playoffs.
And, not to beat a dead horse—but minutes earlier, with the Warriors up one, Andris Biedrins went to the stripe for two very crucial free throws. He and his league-worst free throw percentage manned up and nailed both shots.
Baron Davis is without question our best player, and without him we wouldn't have even made the playoffs. I know this. And I love the man. But his missing a free to throw to lose a game still makes me sick a day later.
The Warriors are now on their way back home to the Bay, where I expect the boys to light up the Jazz with the help of raw energy from our dedicated fans. Let's hope that we can put Game Two behind us—and that when the time comes, Baron is ready to hit his next big shot.