Much hope and excitement surrounds the Golden State Warriors this upcoming season.
The addition of Andre Iguodala to an already playoff caliber team gives Warriors fans a achievable dream that they can make an appearance in the NBA finals for the first time since the 1974-1975 season. Everything begins in the regular season, however, as only performing well in the regular season can lead to a playoff berth.
Regular season games can also give a team insight to the opposing team, preparing them for future matchups, most importantly in the playoffs. These regular season games are key for the Warriors to make the playoffs and manufacture a deep run.
Oct 30 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
What a way to begin the season. The Lakers will be looking to rebound from an extraordinarily bad season last year. The first game of the season has the potential to set the tone for the Warriors’ season as a whole.
A win against a historically dominant team could give the young team confidence heading into the first half of the season. On the flip side, a loss against a team that has lost much of its past talent could demoralize a Warriors squad that has such high expectations this year.November 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct. 31 @ Los Angeles Clippers
Facing Chris Paul in the second game of the season will be a great test for Stephen Curry, who will need to be at his very best to win this one on one matchup. It will help prepare him for future encounters with the best guards in the NBA. If the Warriors can win their first two games against the top contenders in the division, beliefs that last season’s run was a fluke will be put to rest, making this young team believe that they are the best in the division.
The sky is the limit with a team of this much talent and potential, and wins in the first two games of the season could help the Warriors realize this.
Dec. 6 @ Houston Rockets
While the Warriors may be a little disappointed in the result of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Rockets are look like a team ready to challenge in the West.
The Warriors go to Houston trying to prove that they do not need Howard to be successful. This game gives the Warriors the opportunity to witness firsthand the Rockets with Howard, how they operate, and their chemistry (or possible lack thereof) with Howard in the lineup.
With the Rockets likely making the playoffs, the Warriors will be able to scout this revamped team and prepare for a playoff encounter.
Jan. 2 @ Miami Heat
When the Warriors go to the home of the best team in the world, something must be learned. Of course a win will elevate the morale in the locker room but a loss shouldn’t hurt morale either.
There isn’t much doubt that the Heat will be involved in the Finals for the third straight year. If the Warriors can compete with the Heat, they will be able to compete with any team in the NBA. Furthermore, if the Warriors can face the best player in the world successfully, they will be ready for anything thrown at them.
April 2 @ San Antonio SpursMay 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack (2) passes out the ball between San Antonio Spurs point guard Gary Neal (14) and center Boris Diaw (33) during the first quarter of game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Warriors will not want to exit the playoffs in the same fashion as last season. They were not quite able to figure the Spurs out.
With a regular season game so close to the playoffs, and the Spurs no doubt competing with the Warriors for a playoff spot, this game may help decide seeding in the Western Conference. It should also help the learn how to slow down Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, who were able to dominate the Warriors in last season’s playoff meeting.
April 16 @ Denver Nuggets
The Western Conference is crowded. There are too many good teams for all of them to make the playoffs. In what seems to be a tight Western Conference, the last game of the season will mean something, most likely a playoff spot. This game will decide where the Warriors fall in the jigsaw that is the Western Conference. A better playoff seed can mean better matchups in the playoffs, and an easier road to the Finals.
Expectations and hopes for the Golden State Warriors are higher now than at any point so far in the 21st century. With an incredibly talented starting lineup and a bench that has the talent to hold their own, the Warriors look poised for a second straight playoff appearance this year.
If the pieces fall in the Warriors favor in the Western Conference, Warriors’ fans will once again have something to cheer about this year.