Baron Davis felt Don Nelson 'let foot off gas' in Warriors-Jazz series

Drew Shiller
NBC Sports BayArea

Programming note: Watch games from the "We Believe" Warriors on NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday, May 23 and Saturday, May 30, beginning at 2 p.m.

The 2006-07 "We Believe" Warriors shocked the world when they beat the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

They became the first No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in a seven-game series, and cemented themselves as one of the most popular teams in Bay Area sports history.

But why did they lose to the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals?

Former Golden State forwards Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson were guests on Friday's episode of "The Bill Simmons Podcast" and were asked that very question.

"I sat down with Baron (Davis) the other day and we were kind of just rehashing and he pointed out something that I never really thought of," Barnes explained. "He kind of felt like Nellie (coach Don Nelson) let his foot off the gas.

"So much was built in to kicking Dallas' a-- that year, and we did it. And Like Jack (Jackson) said, we celebrated like we had won a championship. Not that we weren't focused for the next round, but if you look at the next round, the rotation was different than the first round.

"We were doing stuff that we hadn't done to get us there ... it just didn't work out for us. It just kind of died in the second round unfortunately."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Now that certainly is noteworthy. Davis believes Nelson deserves some blame? Over 13 years have passed and that narrative really has never been discussed.

In Game 1, the Warriors led by seven early in the fourth quarter before falling 116-112.

In Game 2, the Dubs led by three points with 16.0 seconds left. After Mickael Pietrus missed two free throws and the Jazz scored to make it 112-111 with less than 10 seconds left, Davis went to the free throw line with 6.2 seconds remaining.

Davis made the first, but missed the second. Utah then scored with 2.3 seconds left and ended up winning by 10 in overtime. It was a gut-wrenching loss.

In Game 4, Golden State led by three to start the final frame but ran out of gas down the stretch and lost 115-101.

The Warriors led at the half in Game 5, but scored just 33 second-half points as they were eliminated with a 100-87 loss.

[RELATED: Oral history of the 'We Believe' Warriors' 2007 playoff run]

What exactly does Davis mean by saying Nelson "let his foot off the gas?" It's unclear at this point. But as Barnes revealed to the world:

Hopefully Davis will provide a thorough explanation if and when the documentary is produced.

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Baron Davis felt Don Nelson 'let foot off gas' in Warriors-Jazz series originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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