“Pivotal” in this case, means crucial. Yes, while Portland may not be a huge threat to the Warriors, it is still an important game. In the midst of a very tough 10-game stretch, the Warriors are to face difficult teams such as the Heat, Clippers, and the Spurs. Playing the Blazers, although it may not seem so, is like a break to the Warriors.
Will all the games coming up that could go either way, the Warriors need to get to 23-12 just so they can have some breathing room, with the Rockets and Nuggets catching up to them. Right now, the Warriors are cushioned at 5th place in the West. Unfortunately, however, they’re on a two game slide, and looking to get the confidence they need for this tough schedule.
Although the Blazers might not seem like it, they’re a huge threat with a lot of depth. They have JJ Hickson, who has been inhaling rebounds, Damian Lillard, who is frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, and Nicolas Batum, who is a dynamic scorer. For the Warriors, it may seem like an easy win: as it has always been against Portland at home, but contrary to what many fans may think, this game isn’t going to be easy for the Warriors.
It’s a crucial game for the Warriors because this game seem likes a piece of cake compared to their gruesome playoff-effecting schedule. These next 10 games will really decide the Warriors’ placement. If they come on top with at least seven more wins than losses, than they’ll be in good condition.
It all has to start off with a win against Portland. Otherwise, the Warriors are going to be even more discouraged going into games against tough teams like the Spurs. These games are winnable for the Warriors. Remember – they have a better record against teams that are over .500.