Talent blossoming for Golden State
Updated: November 1, 2005, 3:55 PM ETBy Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
LAIE, Hawaii -- Five observations from Warriors camp: 1. Tuning up and D'ing up: This Warriors team has a lot more going for it than Baron Davis and some swagger. Davis, for the first time since joining the team, is getting a chance to synch with teammates Jason Richardson, Mike Dunleavy and head coach Mike Montgomery in practice. "Last season we didn't really have a lot of time to practice together once Baron joined the team," Montgomery said. "This camp is really our first attempt to put all of the pieces together. I know what we have here now and it's going to be easier to put them into spots that allow them to succeed." Last season began disastrously, with Montgomery's slowing down the team to emphasize defense. The Warriors started the season 3-12, averaging just 84 points per game while giving up an average of 96 ppg. "I was asking guys to do a lot of things they couldn't do," Montgomery said. "Now I know what we have and can help our team play to our strengths." Once Davis entered the starting lineup, Montgomery had the team's offensive woes solved. The Warriors averaged 110 ppg over the last 18 games of the season, putting them on par with the Phoenix Suns as one of the most potent offenses in the league. "We can score with anyone in the league," Davis said matter-of-factly. That shouldn't change this year with Davis, Richardson, Dunleavy and Troy Murphy all capable of scoring 20-plus points on any night. Now the emphasis is back on the defensive end. During that same 18-game, end-of-season stretch, the Warriors gave up 105 ppg. Overall the Warriors were a mediocre 17th of 30 teams in John Hollinger's Defensive Efficiency Ratings. Can Montgomery find a way to get the Warriors to defend better without slowing down the offense?
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