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Dieter Kurtenbach: The 9 games I'm circling on the Warriors' 2022-23 schedule

Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

The NBA schedule is out, and while we can’t go contest-by-contest and pick who wins, we can circle a few dates on the Warriors’ calendar of 82 games.

We could start with opening night, but I won’t. Enjoy the banner raising and ring ceremony, but I’m not actually looking forward to a game against the Western Conference’s 11th seed from last year. Why did the league schedule a patsy for that game? Shameful.

Here are the nine games I am actually excited to watch this upcoming season.

11/27/22 — Warriors @ Timberwolves» The Wolves are going for it this season, looking to up the emotional high that is winning a play-in game. Then again, Minnesota’s idea of “going for it” is making the biggest move of the offseason (to date) by trading four first-round picks for Rudy Gobert. I’m excited to see Steph Curry cook Gobert’s drop coverage for 32 minutes, while Karl Anthony-Towns spends the entire game outside the 3-point arc, lest Draymond Green makes him cry in the post. Anthony Edwards is cool, though. It’ll be fun to see him, too.

12/10/22 — Warriors vs. Celtics» The first of two rematch games of last season’s NBA Finals, this game will be a referendum on everything that happened in that series. If the Celtics win this regular season game, expect them to petition the league to have the Larry O’Brien trophy sent to Boston.

12/16/22 — Warriors @ Sixers» It’s the battle that everyone has wanted to see all summer: Joel Embiid vs. Kevon Looney. Or is that Embiid vs. James Wiseman? This will be a great test for the Warriors’ frontcourt (pending Embiid, you know, actually playing). Oh, and James Harden will be there, too. We still don’t like him around these parts, right?

12/25/22 — Warriors vs. Grizzlies» As unbecoming as these two teams’ playoff series was last season, the Grizzlies are hellbent on making this a rivalry. I think the Warriors should oblige them. They do better with sworn enemies, after all. (See: Rockets, Houston.) This game has the highest chance of looking like playoff basketball, which is to say that it could be awesome for all 48 minutes. Merry Christmas, indeed.

 

1/13/23 — Warriors @ Spurs» The Spurs are going to be awful, but this game should be a blast — they’re going to play it in the Alamodome, with the intent of setting an NBA record for attendance at 65,000-plus. They should get there, and that spectacle alone will spice up a regular season game that would otherwise be forgotten, perhaps even before the game started.

1/22/23 — Warriors vs. Nets» Kevin Durant plays his old team at Chase Center for the first time in front of fans — and on a Sunday, to boot. The only question is, which team is the old one?

3/2/23 — Warriors vs. Clippers» I picked a late-season Clippers game because I have zero trust that Kawhi Leonard will actually be playing in the 2022 portion of the campaign. I know the Clippers are saying that he will, but I will believe it when I see it. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to this contest, between what I believe will be the top threats to win the Western Conference this season.

3/11/23 – Warriors vs. Bucks» NBA Finals preview? I can get behind that, and a nationally televised Saturday night game, too. This is part of the most interesting stretch for the Warriors this upcoming season — a six-game, five-town trip starting March 9. They’re at Memphis, followed by this Bucks game and a home matchup with the Suns two days later, then they’ll take a trip to play the Clippers, which is followed by a back-to-back in Atlanta and Memphis. If the Warriors are about repeating as champions, we should find out there.

3/28/23 — Warriors vs. Pelicans» There are two Warriors home games against the Pelicans, one at the beginning of March and one at the end. I just want to see Zion Williamson play basketball once in person. Is that too much to ask?

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