The Golden State Warriors are off to the start they needed to get on after the all-star break, they have won all of their games this past week vs the Kings, Rockets, and Nets and on top of that, they added some help by trading for point guard Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night, the Warriors are now taking a 3 game winning streak with them as they embark on a six game eastern conference road trip, and in the eastern conference they’re no teams that strike that much fear other than Miami and Indiana.
So the Warriors have to take advantage of most of the games this road trip to try and distance themselves, as the bottom half of the western conference seeding is constantly shifting, lets look at the opponents for the next six games.
1. Detroit Pistons: One of the teams fighting for a 8th seed in the Eastern conference , the Detroit pistons have been up and down all season, and they fired their coach 50 games into the season as a result of that, the Pistons roster is very flawed and they absolutely refuse to trade Josh Smith and his bad contract, Detroit however does have talent, especially in the front-court when you’re talking about Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, and Brandon Jennings is having a very solid season at the point guard position. Even though the Pistons record isn’t great, the Warriors cannot afford to let the bad teams surprise them anymore.
2. Chicago Bulls: The Warriors beat the Bulls 3 weeks ago in Oracle arena but the Bulls have been a better team since then, as Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has his team still playing with all out effort despite not having Derrick Rose and having Luol Deng being traded to Cleveland (sorry Lou), Thibodeau has always been known to get the most out of flawed or injured rosters and they still manage to play great defense and they always stay in the top rankings in terms of rebounding the basketball. Also Bulls center Joakim Noah is playing fantastic basketball and if Warriors center Andrew Bogut keeps missing games then back-up center Jermaine O’neal is going to have his hands full with one of the top 3 centers in the NBA.
3. New York Knicks: A 54 win team last year, The Knicks have been bad all season to say the least. As rumors continue to swirl about Head Coach Mike Woodson’s job, the Knicks also have to deal with the impending free agency of Carmelo Anthony, and figure out a way to get rid of some the contracts loaded in the front court. The Knicks defense is somehow worse than last year’s and the three ball has not been falling this season as much as last year, oh and by the way, the last time the Warriors were in Madison Square Garden…. Stephen Curry had 54 points. Bright lights of New York.
4. Toronto Raptors: Ever since the Raptors shipped Rudy Gay’s hefty contract to Sacramento, the Raptors have been playing very well, as they finally climbed their way to four games above .500, DeMar DeRozen was selected to his first all-star game, their point guard Kyle Lowry got snubbed this year from it, and Terrance Ross has been playing well replacing Rudy Gay, the Raptors have athleticism across the the guard positions and they will certainly try to use that to their advantage against Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
5. Indiana Pacers: The Pacers have already beaten the Warriors back on January 20th in Oakland 102-94, the Pacers are on pace to have one of the best statistical seasons in terms of defense in NBA history and the starting line-up can play defense at every single position which is one of the reason why the defense is successful. Paul George is an emerging super star having career highs across the board and Roy Hibbert is making a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year, the Warriors are going to need to bring their A game in terms of rebounding and offensive execution if they hope to even the season series.
6. Boston Celtics: Another one of those teams that is considered to be invovled in the “Riggin for Wiggins” sweepstakes (2014 NBA Lottery), the Celtics have some young talent for the rebuilding process and they have a bright future at the head coaching position when you’re talking about Brad Stevens, the team likes to play an up-tempo style and Rajon Rondo is back from injury and trying to get his basketball legs back. The Warriors again cannot take this opponent lightly, as the Celtics still play hard every game and you never know what can happen in the NBA
Each game is important for the Warriors as they are trying to maintain a playoff seed in the bottom part of the western conference, if the Warriors can go 4-2 on this trip, it would be considered a successful one.