The Golden State Warriors are back on top of the NBA once again here in the 2021-22 NBA season.
The Warriors have ruled the NBA ever since Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson hit their strides.
In the early 1990s, you had the Warriors trio known as “Run-TMC”, who electrified the league with their exciting play. But do you remember the 2006-07 Golden State Warriors known as the “We Believe” Warriors?
In the 2006-07 NBA season, not too many analysts or fans alike had high hopes for the Golden State Warriors. In the previous season, the Warriors finished last in their division with a 34-48 record.
The 2005-06 Warriors' roster had a few decent-name players on it. They had Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Jason Richardson, and Derek Fisher. Their supporting players weren't too good, though.
The 2006-07 season saw a few upgrades to the roster. The Warriors added the likes of Matt Barnes, Al Harrington, and Stephen Jackson.
They lost Derek Fisher from the previous season, but the roster still upgraded overall.
Before the start of the 2006-07 NBA season, Vegas Insider had the Warriors at +8500 odds to win the NBA title. This placed them 22nd out of 30 for chances to win the championship.
So, most people didn't give them a chance and this doubt in the Warriors only grew by playoff time.
The “We Believe” attitude from the fans originally started at the end of the regular season. The Warriors appeared to be on their way to receiving a ping pong ball for the draft lottery.
Then, out of nowhere, the team came together and started to play great basketball.
The Warriors ended the season winning 16 of their last 21 games to help them secure the 8th seed in the West with their 42–40 record.
The Dallas Mavericks finished the 2006-07 season with the best record in the league with a 67-15 record.
The Mavericks were led by the eventual MVP that season in Dirk Nowitzki. This was a season of redemption for Nowitzki and the Mavericks.
They were coming off the 2005-06 season where they lost in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. Nowitzki meant business that season.
So, despite their hot finish, nobody gave the Warriors a chance at upsetting the number one seeded Mavericks.
Can you blame them? At this point in NBA history, only two 8th seeds had ever upset the top seed in the playoffs. That honor belonged to the 1994 Denver Nuggets and the 1999 New York Knicks.
Even with the Nuggets and Knicks' 8th seed series victories over their top-seeded foes, things still didn't look good for the Warriors.
The Nuggets and Knicks both won a best of five series. The Warriors, with the rule change in the first round, had to play a seven-game series. Their chances weren't good.
Don't tell that to the Warriors players, though. They jumped all over the Mavericks in game one led by their point guard, Baron Davis.
Davis scored 33 points while grabbing 14 rebounds, delivering 8 assists, while snatching 3 steals.
The Warriors defeated the Mavericks 97-85 in game one. Most NBA analysts believed game one was a flux, but the Warriors fans believed…
The Mavericks still believed in themselves as well. They stormed back into the series with a 112-99 Game Two victory.
This is where most experts expected the Mavericks to take over the series and end the “We Believe” Warriors once in for all. But that didn't happen.
The Warriors won the next two games in the series: a 109-91 blowout victory in Game 3, and a nail-biting 103-99 victory in Game 4.
The Mavericks bounced back in Game 5 with their 118-112 victory. But Game 6 would be back at the Oracle Arena, the Warriors home court.
The crowd at Oracle we're going bonkers at this time. It was one of the loudest arenas in league history and the fans all wore yellow shirts to show team pride.
Yes, the Golden State Warriors fans believed their team was good enough to knock off the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks.
In Game 6, the Warriors proved their fans right. First, the Warriors defense held Dirk Nowitzki to one of the worst playoff games of his career.
Nowitzki scored only 8 points on a dismal 2-13 from the field and 0-6 from three-point land!
The Warriors seemed to have a different player step up every game. In this game, Stephen Jackson took over.
Jackson scored a game-high 33 points while hitting big shot after big shot.
The Mavericks would not make this a game as the Warriors ran away with an impressive 111-86 blowout victory.
The series was over, disappointment landed in the laps of Mavericks fans all over again. For the “We Believe” Warriors fans, they were rejoicing.
Before the 2006-07 season, the Warriors last made the playoffs in the 1993-94 season. These fans needed this exciting.
Unfortunately, for the “We Believe” fans wouldn't get to celebrate for much longer. The Warriors played the Utah Jazz in the second round and they would lose 4-1.
The Warriors wouldn't make it back to the playoffs until six seasons later, but this time they would be led by the “Splash Brothers”.
After losing back-to-back years in the playoffs, in the 2014-15 NBA season, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson led the Warriors to their first championship since the 1974-75 season.
Since their title, the Warriors have become the franchise standard in the league.
They reached the NBA Finals five straight years, winning three of them, all over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After two disappointing seasons missing the playoffs, the Warriors are off to a blazing start to the 2021-22 NBA season.
Will the Warriors keep up their amazing play? If they do, maybe the fans “Will Believe” once again.