So, last week sure was something, huh?
No better way to forget about it than to start a new one, and hope the results are nicer, both on and off the court.
Position entering the week
Conference standings: 2nd
Net rating: 5th (+6.0)
This week’s games
Wednesday, November 21 vs the Oklahoma City Thunder (10-5)
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN and NBC Sports Bay Area
What to watch for: Even though this is Kevin Durant’s third year with the Warriors, the match-ups with his old squad still feel intense and emotionally charged. This one won’t be quite as fun as they usually are, since Steph Curry is out, and Draymond Green and Russell Westbrook are both questionable. But, as always, watch KD against his former franchise. Exciting things will happen.
Why the could win: Durant fares well against his old team. In eight contests against OKC, KD has averaged 32.0 points per game, while shooting 47.4% from beyond the arc. That’s the highest scoring average he has against any team.
Why they could lose: The Warriors offense has not been clicking lately. Since Curry’s groin injury, the team has an offensive rating of just 106.3, 15th in the league during that span. And while the Thunder are still without Andre Roberson, their defensive rating of 102.9 is second-best in the league. It could be another ugly day at the office for the Dubs.
Opponent to watch: Paul George. The Thunder’s All-Star wing will be their go-to offensive player if Westbrook misses the game, and he’ll be tasked with the responsibility of defending Durant. His performance could very well determine the outcome of the game.
Friday, November 23 vs the Portland Trail Blazers (11-5)
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
What to watch for: As we begin the week, these are the top teams in the West. The Blazers are technically the number one seed, due to a higher winning percentage, but the Warriors (the second seed), are zero games behind Portland. For now, this is a clash of the Western Conference titans.
Why they could win: Green may be back by this game, and it’s safe to say the Warriors should be motivated to win this game, to remind everyone who the West’s top dog is.
Why they could lose: The Blazers are on a mission to prove that last year’s poor playoff performance was an anomaly. Portland is 6th in offensive rating, 8th in defensive rating, and 3rd in net rating this year. They are very good.
Opponent to watch: Damian Lillard. The Oakland product loves returning home to play the Warriors, and he is playing dynamic basketball this season.
Saturday, November 24 vs the Sacramento Kings (8-8)
When: 5:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
What to watch for: Who are these Kings?! Sacramento is playing inspired, quality basketball and . . . /checks calendar . . . that hasn’t happened in a very long time. If the Warriors get their act together, this could be a fun game.
Why they could win: Even with Sacramento’s resurgence, the Warriors are still a much better basketball team than the Kings. Not only that, but the Warriors will have spent the entire week at home, so they’ll be decently rested.
Why they could lose: For a while now, young, pesky teams have given the Warriors fits. Star players - even stuck on bad teams - get Golden State’s attention, but the lottery-bound teams that play with chemistry and energy cause all kinds of problems for the Dubs. That is the Sacramento experience.
Opponent to watch: De’Aaron Fox. The 5th overall pick a year ago struggled mightily as a rookie, but has exploded in his second year. Just look at the numbers: In year one, he averaged 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, while shooting 30.7% from deep, and sporting a 47.8% true-shooting percentage. In year two, he’s up to 19.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game, with a 42.3% clip from deep, and a 59.8% true-shooting percentage. And to top it all off, he is fun as heck to watch.
This week’s storylines
Can they get healthy?
Draymond Green was in and out of the lineup last week, as his sprained toe kept giving him issues. He played in two of the team’s five games, and has missed five of the last seven since suffering the injury. Steph Curry, who has a strained groin, is already ruled out for the games against the Thunder and Blazers, but is set to be re-evaluated on Saturday, meaning there’s a chance he could play against the Kings.
How is the locker room?
The Warriors are doing what they can to move on from the altercation between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant a week ago, but it’s abundantly clear that it cannot be resolved in just one week. No one outside of the locker room truly knows what’s going on, but chances are we’ll see some signs one way or the other regarding the team’s progress as they seek to patch this up.
While the Warriors have a losing record on the road, they’re 8-1 at home. This week’s trio of games will all be at Oracle Arena, which gives the team a good chance to get things back on track.