A week ago I penned an article as the Golden State Warriors set sail on a five-game road trip that started off with a pair of contests against the East’s elite. The premise of the article was simple: Would the Warriors win any games?
Now, as they prepare to take on the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving-less Brooklyn Nets (4:30 p.m. PT, NBC Sports Bay Area), I find myself asking a drastically different question: Will they have a winning record on the road trip?
The Warriors haven’t won a regular season road trip since mid-march of 2019. They haven’t won three straight road games since May, when they finished off the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers in the playoffs.
Yet after demolishing the Cleveland Cavaliers, and cruising against the Washington Wizards, even without D’Angelo Russell, the Warriors find themselves in prime position to have their first winning road trip of the year, and just their second three-game winning streak.
The Nets are hot in their own right, having won three of their last four, though Irving - who has been nothing short of majestic when healthy lately - was on the court for two of those wins. A knee injury is sidelining him for tonight’s game.
Can the Warriors take advantage of a depleted Brooklyn squad? If so, they’ll need Draymond Green to be the Draymond Green he’s been lately. During the Warriors two-game winning streak, Green has been spectacular. Against Cleveland, he had 8 points, 7 rebounds, 16 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He followed that up with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block against Washington.
The Warriors will be getting back Russell, who missed one game (his 19th of the year) with a quad contusion. Russell will be making his first return to Brooklyn, where he played the last two seasons, and was an All-Star in 2019.
D’Angelo Russell is good to go tonight vs. his former team, the Nets.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) February 5, 2020
But the Warriors will be without wings Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III. Both players are being held out due to potential trades that are nearly complete. It’s quite likely that we’ve seen the last of both players in a Warriors jersey.
So here’s your starting five. I don’t recommend looking at the bench, unless you have some safety goggles on.