9

These Are Must Wins

Vs. Memphis
At Sacramento
At Los Angeles Clippers

With the schedule facing them down the stretch, the Warriors can’t afford another slip up against inferior teams. So what they’re on the road. They need to win these games to keep ahead of Denver, or catch the Mavericks.
This great opportunity for the Warriors to do both.
Denver’s next three games: vs. Seattle and at Detroit and at Philadelphia. They’ll likely go 2-1 (though the Philly game is the second of a back-to-back; the Sixers are playing well and you know they’ll be hyped for Iverson’s return).
Dallas’ next three games: at Miami, vs. Boston, vs. Lakers. They could very well also go 2-1.
So the Ws only way to gain ground would be to go 3-0 against these lowly teams. Winning these three games, the Warriors could head into Friday’s game vs. Houston 3.5 games ahead of Denver (or more) and a game behind Dallas (or tied if the Lakers and Celtics handle business) with one fewer loss than the Mavericks.
This is the LAST significant break in the schedule. Their next games against sub-.500 teams are all surrounded by top-tier opponents. Not to mention, they have a four-game road trip that includes the Spurs, Mavericks and Hornets.
Remember, the Warriors play four of their last five games at home — three of those games come against Sacramento, LA Clippers and Seattle. If they can head into that stretch with a cushion over Denver, or holding the No. 6 seed, their playoff fate will be in their hands. But it all starts by winning these three games.

Marcus Thompson

  • commish

    We will see which Warrior team shows up. Sacto will be easier without Bibby, but I’ll bet the Clippers are out for blood after losing out to the Dubs for the last playoff spot. Do you know if Brand will be back, not that he would be in playing shape, but still, he is always a monster against us?

  • Marcus

    From what I’m reading, Brand may not be back this year. If he is, it likely won’t be next week, but when they meet in April

  • http://blog.cleveland.com/andone Carolyn

    Ssshhhhh . . . don’t tell anyone in Cleveland but I love the Warriors. If I can’t catch a Cavs game, I’m watching Golden State.

  • Ken

    Marcus,

    What are your thoughts on a possible Warriors/Rockets first round matchup? Even though the rockets are playing great and riding this winning streak, I actually think this is the most favorable first round matchup for the dubs as supposed to facing the spurs or lakers. I love to see Baron battling with Rafer Alston (although I would assume Battier would guard Baron at some point in that series) and Jack and Pietrus taking turns on Tmac. Without Yao, I think the Warriors would have an excellent chance of advancing to the second round.

  • Gary

    Well Marcus,

    Does this hurt the W’s since Denver lost? I still think it says a lot about the W’s ability to seize the moment. Looks like it’ll be another nail biter til the last game of the season.

  • commish

    Take Sacto off the list of must wins as we sucked big time at Arco.

  • Andy

    Yeah, that the most disappointing game ever. I didn’t realize that the Kings were that good.

  • Marcus

    If the Warriors had beat Sac and gone 3-0 during this stretch against non-playoff teams, they would be 3.5 games up on Denver. That would’ve been demoralizing to Denver, as it puts a lot of pressure on them. The Warriors would have a much wider safety net heading into this super tough stretch coming up.

  • http://www.maximumsuccess.com/larrydescombaz larry d

    I believe denver could lose two out of the next three and with dirk out,Dallas could lose two out of three. and if the warriors take care of business and the refers don,t screws us like they did monday nite. I believe we will be alright,but it not going to be a cake walk, because the warriors have a much harder schedule. larry d