The Golden State Warriors suffered the rarest of losses in their campaign this season earlier this week– losing to the lowly bottom-feeders on a tank called the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors’ defeat made headlines as the Lakers were huge underdogs entering the match-up. It was a huge win for the hapless Hollywood squad as it won’t affect their tanking ways (they are “safe” so far in the second spot for most ping pong balls in the 2016 NBA Draft).
However, it was a minor bump for the Warriors in their quest for matching or breaking the hallowed 72-10 record of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. At 56-6 through 62 games, the Warriors are still ONE GAME BETTER than the Michael Jordan-led squad two decades ago at 55-7.
The Warriors immediately bounced back after the loss to Kobe Bryant’s Lakers by beating the Orlando Magic, 119-113 on Monday.
Golden State will play their next five games at home but the first two come against teams that are contending for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The next three will be relatively easy; if the Warriors manage to get past their first two, they could possibly go 5-0 before a three-game road trip.
vs. Utah Jazz (March 9, Wednesday)
The Jazz led by Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert offers the first test for the Warriors this week. Jazz’s size and length could give the Warriors some trouble but Curry and company will most likely run-and-gun– as usual– their way against the young Utah team.
The Warriors already beat the Jazz twice (106-103 at Utah last November and 103-85 at home last December) earlier this season. They will beat them again on Wednesday.
Prediction: Warriors win, improve to 57-6.
vs. Portland Trail Blazers (March 11, Friday)
The Warriors blew out the Trail Blazers, 128-108 in their first meeting last January but Portland dealt Golden State a 137-105 beating last February.
Expect fireworks from Curry and Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who does not want to be asked if his game is similar to Stephen Curry; but expect the Warriors to win in another high-scoring affair.
Prediction, Warriors win, improve to 58-6
vs. Phoenix Suns (March 12, Saturday), New Orleans Pelicans (March 14, Monday) and New York Knicks (March 16, Wednesday)
Anthony Davis’ Pelicans and Kristaps Porzingis’ (and not Carmelo Anthony’s) Knicks are still mathematically in the race for a postseason slot while the Suns have committed to their own tank.
Prediction: Easy 3-0 for the Warriors and they improv to 61-6 with 15 games left in the season.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons