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Warriors Bounce Mavericks

The Golden State Warriors became the first No. 8 seed to advance in a seven-game NBA playoff series Thursday night with a 111-86 victory over the No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks.

The story that ran in the San Jose Mercury News was written by Janie McCauley of the Associated Press. This story reported that an injured Baron Davis and a controversial Stephen Jackson were mainly responsible for the Golden State win on Thursday night. The story also reported that defense on likely NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki was extremely important. The story reported how the game was won and who the Warriors will face in the second round.

Coach Don Nelson's emotional bunch of castoffs beat his old organization by holding likely league MVP Dirk Nowitzki to eight points and 2-for-13 shooting, after he saved the Mavs with 30 points in their six-point Game 5 win Tuesday. The Warriors, making their first playoff appearance in 13 years, will open the second round Monday night at either Houston or Utah.

The story also reported why Stephen Jackson was so controversial.

Jackson—who avoided a suspension for Game 6 after two ejections in the series—hit four 3-pointers during a decisive 24-3 third-quarter run and finished with a playoff career-high 33 points.

The story reported the historic context that made this win and this series so important.

The Warriors became only the third eighth seed to upset the No. 1 and the first since the opening round went from best-of-five to the current format. The Denver Nuggets (1994) and the New York Knicks (1999) are the only other teams to win a series.

The story reported that the historic nature of the series win by Golden State was not the only way that the Warriors accomplished something historic.

The Warriors traded for Jackson in January in an eight-player swap with the Indiana Pacers to pair him with a healthy Davis as this playoff-starved franchise tried—and ultimately succeeded—to end the NBA's longest postseason drought.

I feel like the biggest issue with this story is getting people outside of the Dallas and Oakland markets to want to read the story. I found that the only reason I read the story was because it was particularly historical. More often than not I find myself bored with professional basketball and therefore don’t generally read such stories. I did feel that this version was fairly successful in getting me to read the story and be interested in the event.

A second version of the story ran in the New York Times by Lee Jenkins. This story reported much of the same information as the McCauley version. This story focused more on the historically inept history of the Golden State franchise. This story reported that many other teams would dream of an NBA title while the Warrior just dreamed of getting into post-season play.

Few teams have ever been so excited about a No. 8 seed, and no team has done more with it. Golden State, making its first playoff appearance in 14 years, also made history Thursday night. They are no longer the Clippers of Northern California.

This story reported an interesting connection between the last Golden State playoff team and the current playoff team.

The moniker was a twist on Run DMC, a pioneering rap group that achieved its peak of popularity in the 1980s. Today, Mullin is the team’s executive vice president. Richmond is one of his assistants. Their coach then, Don Nelson, is the coach again.

This version of the story reported a much more detailed and extensive background of Stephen Jackson. This story went deep to show the reader what Jackson had done in his past.

Until Thursday night, Stephen Jackson was best known as a wild man with a mean streak. Jackson, then with Indiana, fought with fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills during the notorious brawl between the Pacers and the Detroit Pistons in 2004. He also fired a gun outside a strip club in Indianapolis last year. The Pacers had little choice but to trade him.

I felt that both versions of this story were interesting enough that I would have read them anyway but I did feel that the Jenkins was slightly more interesting to read because it provided more background and information. This version was significantly longer but I felt like the length was acceptable enough that the story could be read without fear that the reader would turn away. The McCauley version was nice but it was a little less interesting which makes it harder to read than the Jenkins version.