What a difference a year makes. Come opening night of 2006, most of Warrior Nation was just hoping that the newly unretired and rehired Don Nelson could somehow resuscitate the franchise from its 12-year playoff coma. A .500 season was all anybody really hoped for; few dared dream the impossible dream of postseason play.

After starting fast and then fading, the Warriors pulled off a master stroke of highway robbery on January 17 when they unloaded franchise goats Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Ike Diogu to some rubes in overalls and straw hats in Indianapolis for starters Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington. After some gettin'-to-know-you time, the club finished the season ablaze, going 16-4 down the stretch to pluck the eighth and final playoff spot from the Los Angeles Clippers.

And then there was the opening round series with Dallas. Ahhggghhh, sweet playoff upset. The Warriors absolutely owned the Mavs, and oh it felt so good. 2006-2007 season: Mission accomplished.

Photo from USA Today