Toughest Game of the Roadtrip?
Jordan Ramirez: Wednesday’s game on the second leg of a back-to-back against a feisty Orlando Magic team will be the toughest game of the road trip. Orlando isn’t horrible, and with Victor Oladipo, Channing Frye and Nikola Vucevic, they have players that can give the Warriors problems. The Warriors will be favorited by Las Vegas again, but this has the potential to be a loss being the second game of a B2B. Oladipo has strength, Frye can stretch the floor and Vucevic is fourth in the NBA in rebounding (11.8). If the Warriors want to be an elite team, they should win games like this, however.
Danny Leroux: Miami. They have done pretty well this year at full strength and Chris Bosh at Center could pose problems for the Warriors because of his shooting range. Second would likely be Detroit because they have some streaky scorers and the ability to grab offensive rebounds.
Sheed Malek: Detroit. It’s the last game of the trip with an early start time (12:30p) against a team who is super athletic in the front-court. If the Warriors can overcome complacency, they should walk out of Detroit with a win.
Biggest worry on this 5 game roadie?
Jordan Ramirez: This is the first long road trip of the season for the Warriors, and it’ll be interesting to see how they bond, build and react off this many games on the road for the first time this season. Steve Kerr said after the win against Utah that this is the perfect time for this team to hit the road. I agree, especially with a new system in place and against the Eastern Conference. This is the time you can work out the kinks, test yourself on the road against opponents that you should beat and continue to build on the 9-2 record. The worry would be that their game changes when hitting the road, suddenly reverting to less ball movement, more turnovers and isolation basketball. But, we have yet to see a long string of these occurrences, so that’s encouraging.
Danny Leroux: As it likely will be for the entire season, health. At even close to full strength, this Golden State team should have a fighting chance in every single game. Any injury makes that harder because it chips away at depth and potentially weakens a strong starting group. Even though it was great that most of the starters got so much rest in Friday’s rout over the Jazz, Harrison Barnes played an unnecessarily high forty minutes while Brandon Rush and Justin Holiday only got on the floor for seven and eight respectively. Even if Barnes’ young legs can handle the playing time, we all know that random injuries can happen at any time and there is no reason to risk any pivotal player in garbage time.
Sheed Malek: Fatigue. Warriors play 5 games in 7 nights on this trip and then return home to get ready for a brutal mid-December stretch of games where they play damn near 10 playoff teams in a row. If the Warriors can continue developing big leads early in the game and get their starters some extended rest for a couple of games on this trip, it’ll serve them well.
Prediction for 5 game roadie?
Danny Leroux: 4-1 if Dwyane Wade plays for Miami, 5-0 otherwise. Wade’s ability to draw fouls challenges the Warriors because both Steph and Klay have issues with fouls from time to time. However, we know how hamstring issues can linger so even if Wade plays it likely will not be at his most dangerous. The hard-charging Dubs should be road favorites in all four other games and possibly all five but that does not guarantee victories, of course.
Sheed Malek: 5-0. The Warriors will be favorites in every game and will have no trouble beating down these Eastern conference teams ( and OKC). I know, I know… Such a homer prediction.