Golden State Warriors are Still Underdogs in the Western Conference

BaySportsInsider.comCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2008

Chad Ford of ESPN included the Warriors on his list of "losers" in his August 4 offseason recap.

This analysis proves two things. One, the Warriors are again going to be a huge underdog in the Western conference. And two, the national media continues to fail in showing the Warriors the respect they deserve after upsetting Dallas in the 2006 playoffs and winning 48 games in 2007.

While the loss of Baron Davis came one year earlier than anyone expected, it's really tough (and inaccurate) to label the Warriors as one of the summer's biggest losers in the NBA.

Yes, we may have overpaid Corey Maggette, but he's an good NBA scorer, averaging over 20 points a game three of the past five seasons. He can shoot from the outside and cause matchup problems with his size if he plays anywhere aside from small forward. He seems to be a great for Don Nelson's creativity, and will likely be used all over the court.

Bottom line? Maggette won't replace Baron Davis as a leader. He doesn't have the same defensive toughness and he can't match Baron's intensity. But he will replace Baron's points—and he's a big upgrade from Mickael Pietrus, who saw time at both forward positions last year in Nelson's system.

Chad Ford seemed to have completely dismissed the acquisitions of Ronny Turiaf and Marcus Williams. Anyone who followed the team closely last year knows that our biggest weaknesses were our toughness in the paint and our depth. Adding these two players should go a long way toward addressing those concerns.

And lastly, we have added two rookies that look like they have a chance to be productive players in the NBA. Anthony Randolph, wowed the fans in the Vegas summer league by showing the ball handling skills of a point guard trapped inside his 6'10 frame, taking his man off the dribble time and time again. Richard Hendrix also showed some great potential, pulling down nearly 10 rebounds per game in 17 minutes a night.

As a fan, I'm happy to see the Warriors play the role of underdog again, and hope they continue to play with the chip on their shoulders that carried them to the playoffs in 2006.