Baron Davis: Clippers Had Best Chance To Beat Warriors

Baron Davis played for five NBA franchises, including the Clippers and Warriors, who, due to injury, won’t be able to give fans the playoff series everyone wanted to see.

Think about it: The Warriors and Clippers don’t like each other, there’s been some back and forth between the two franchises, and the Clippers match up reasonably well against the Warriors.

Unfortunately, injuries to Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will make that series, if it even happens, a shell of what it could have been.

“It was unfortunate that Chris Paul got hurt,” former NBA All-Star Baron Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Chris Paul would be No. 3 in my MVP voting just because of the type of year that he was having. It was unfortunate to see him go down because that was the matchup everybody was looking forward to – the Clippers versus the Warriors. I actually thought that if any team had a chance of beating the Warriors, it would have been the Clippers. That’s kind of like the series that I was most looking forward to. It’s just unfortunate that Chris Paul got hurt, and Blake, who was already coming back from an injury, re-injured himself. It looked like he was starting to turn the corner as well.”

Paul averaged 23.8 points, 7.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 3+ games against Portland, while Griffin averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Both sustained season-ending injures in the Clippers’ 98-84 Game 4 loss in Portland on Monday. The Clippers, without their two best players, then lost Game 5 at home on Wednesday to fall behind 3-2 in the series.

Game 6 is Friday in Portland at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Golden State, meanwhile, has overcome the loss of Curry – at least so far. The Warriors beat the Rockets in five games and are now awaiting the winner of Portland versus Los Angeles in the second round.

Davis, who played for the Warriors from 2004-08, is a huge fan of this year’s team.

“I love it,” he said. “I love it. Just from the top to the bottom, they’re well-coached, every player knows his role, every player contributes, they’re all unselfish, they communicate well, they pass the ball, they all are effective offensive players, they all sacrifice and give their best on defense. For me, being a fan of the game, you appreciate great basketball. You appreciate teamwork – because a lot of that stuff is hard to come by. I think that like San Antonio, they’re praised year in and year out of just being a well-oiled machine and a team that can be so versatile and play good team basketball. Now you have the Warriors, who are a different variation of it.”

It’s refreshing to see a former player, albeit a former Warrior, give Golden State the credit it deserves. Several former players, including Oscar Robertson, have tried to discredit the Warriors, attributing their success to the era in which they play.

“I don’t really see how somebody could be jealous, especially watching something so good and so entertaining and so effective,” Davis said. “For me, the Warriors are my favorite team. They definitely have a special place in my heart, but it’s good to see good team basketball. You see 1 through 15 being able to be plugged in and play and contribute.”

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