As you know by now, Avery Johnson's been playing the underdog since training camp. Winning 67 games as the favorite didn't do much good after all.
First of all," Johnson said, "I think teams don't really play well being the favorite. I think guys who have that underdog mentality and they feel like they don't have any sort of pressure on them, they seem to play better."
Don Nelson played up the underdog appeal at the start of the playoffs series last season with his "band of schmoes" reference. Johnson says no way are the Warriors underdogs now.
"They're going to come in and sell you that they're the underdog and they're not very good," Johnson said. "But they're pretty good when Stephen Jackson's in the lineup. I think they have one of the best records in the Western Conference. So again, everybody wants to be the underdog and teams that feel like they don't have as much pressure on them, they seem to play a little bit more relaxed, they don't play as tense. When you play with a lot of tension in your game and in your mind and in your body, you're not going to play very well. So I think the favorites haven't done a very good job of being the favorites for whatever reason."
So what, who's the underdog tonight?
-- Jeff Caplan