David Lee is playing like a man scorned.

He had one sequence Tuesday that consisted of mauling an opponent to grab an offensive rebound and then, in an instant, turning into a ballet dancer for a swift spin move and layup.

After that, he sprinted and beat everyone to the opposite rim, grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled it in transition through a scrambling opponent and dished to Harrison Barnes for a three-pointer.

"David looked the best he's looked all year: active, aggressive, running the floor, defending, rebounding," head coach Mark Jackson said after Tuesday's game. "When he plays that way, we're a totally different basketball team."

With a night to think on it, Jackson on Wednesday offered: "I thought David looked like David for the first time in a long time."

Lee might not be playing like Lee for the reasons you think.

Sure, within a two-week span, Lee went from being trade bait on Internet fan forums to holding the Warriors back on a major media blog to considering both subjects in a mainstream newspaper. On Tuesday, it went a step further when former head coach Don Nelson was quoted in a Sports Illustrated story saying, "He can't guard anybody."

"Oh yeah, I was out for blood," Lee said sarcastically. "No, I'm honest when I say that I don't read any of the positive or the negative stuff. I just know from my own point of view that I want to be playing better than I'm playing."

Lee doesn't need anyone to tell him that he wasn't playing up to his 2012-13 All-Star standard or the level that earned the monster deal the Warriors will be paying him through 2016.

He led the league with 56 double-doubles last season and was the only player in the NBA to average at least 18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. This season, Lee is shooting a career-worst 49 percent from the field and averaging 17.2 points (worst since 2010-11) and 2.1 assists (worst since 2008-09).

He'll make approximately $13.9 million this season - about $100,000 less than Andrew Bogut. In each of the next two seasons, Lee will make more than $15 million - more than $2 million higher than his next-closest teammate.