Sometimes, slow and steady does win the race. But not in the NBA.
You’ve heard it all by now: The Golden State Warriors are turning over a new leaf. The Golden State Warriors are going to play defense. The Golden State Warriors are playoff contenders.
All that’s great, but if they don’t get off to a good start, preseason talk of change is good for nothing—because the only change that anyone really cares about is whether the team actually wins more games than it has in the past. There will be no talk of rebuilding, of shortened training camps. There will be no more of the usual excuses, because they simply won’t apply this time around.
With winnable games at Phoenix (October 31), against Memphis at home (November ), at Sacramento (October 5) and against Cleveland (October 7) to start the schedule out, the Warriors need to come out all-systems-go.
There’s a tough game in Los Angeles against the Clippers on October 3 crammed in the middle of those four cream puffs, so the Warriors will have a lot to answer for if they don’t start out with a record of 4-1.
Sometimes momentum doesn’t matter. The San Antonio Spurs could go 0-10 to begin the season and nobody would legitimately question their ability to make the playoffs.
But for the Warriors, who’ve talked plenty about things being different this year, there’ll be a lot to answer for if they can’t kick off the season properly. Look, nobody’s saying the season is a lost cause if Golden State stumbles out of the gate. But all the talk of change will ring hollow if this season starts like so many before.