Baron Davis, the do-everything star point guard for the Golden State Warriors, sat on a trainer's table in the bowels of EnergySolutions Arena last week after his team fell to 0-3 on the season and acted like longtime Mad magazine cover boy Alfred E. Neuman.
"What? Me worry?" was the vibe being given off by Davis.
Davis was asked how big a hole the Warriors could dig for themselves before it would be too late to right the ship.
"0h and 20," Davis answered. The four or five media members around him laughed at his suggestion, assuming he was making a joke. Davis didn't even crack a smile.
Asked if he was serious, Davis just nodded.
Well, Davis and the Warriors are now a quarter of the way to that possible 0-20 start. Golden State, the national media darlings last spring after knocking off the NBA's best regular-season team, the Dallas Mavericks, in the first round of the playoffs, fell to 0-5 on Thursday night with a home loss to you guessed it the Dallas Mavericks.
Still, Davis' remarks after the Warriors' latest loss show he's still not particularly concerned.
"I wouldn't count us out," Davis said. "This team is capable of winning 10 games in a row."
And he's right. It's far too early into an 82-game regular season to read too much into any team's start, good or bad. After all, the Mavericks lost their first four games a year ago before rebounding to win a league-best 67 games and the 61-win Phoenix Suns got off to a 1-5 start to the 2006-07 season.
Besides, Golden State, of all teams, knows it can dig itself out of a big hole. They were just 26-35 at one point last season and appeared destined for another early vacation before going 16-5 down the stretch to earn a playoff berth for the first time in 13 years.
That being said, the Warriors' poor start and the Los Angeles Clippers' fast start have to be the big Western Conference surprises two weeks into this season.
Who would have thought the Clippers an underachieving team a year ago that failed to make the playoffs would be the last team in the powerful Western Conference to lose a game?
And who would have thought the Warriors would stumble so hard out of the gate?
Of the two, the Clippers are actually the most surprising. Their best player, Elton Brand, is out recovering from off-season surgery. Their up-and-coming star, Shaun Livingston, is out due to injury, too.
Yet the Clippers are finding ways to win including victories on the road against Chicago and Indiana.
"People are writing us off but we have guys here that have big egos and big hearts," said Clips forward Tim Thomas after his team got off to a 4-0 start. "And we're not going to listen to what people say. We're finding ways to pull games out."
But, once again, the excitement over the Clippers' fast start should be tempered.After all, they went 6-0 to start out last season's 40-42 disappointment.
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