This season, the Golden State Warriors open up the season against their Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Lakers at home. Given the history between these teams across decades of battling for Californian dominance, it should prove to be an exciting matchup, especially since it’s in front of the Oracle crowd. They’ll look to start the season with a leg up after making drastic improvements to their roster from last year. With that goal in mind the reeling, depleted Lakers should prove a good opponent.
All things considered, the first game of the season doesn’t seem like it would mean much in an 82-game season. However, it sets a tone for the new year. With the new squad, that’s important. So, let’s take a look back at the last five openers as we look forward to the next.
October 29, 2008: New Orleans Hornets at Golden State Warriors (L, 108-103)
Back before Stephen Curry, this disappointing loss befell the Warriors. Back when this happened, current rival point guard Chris Paul was the face and the driving force behind the Hornets. This Nola team also featured an intimidating frontcourt consisting of David West (currently with the Indiana Pacers) and Tyson Chandler (currently playing fr the Knicks).
Meanwhile, the Warriors rolled out a gutted version of the successful ‘We Believe’ team from the previous season. The result? A decent showing from Golden State, ultimately falling in a high-scoring game. What drove the win? Paul logged a double-double with 21 points and 11 assists, while West played a great defensive game tallying two each in the blocks and steals categories on top of 24 points. Meanwhile, the Warriors shot poorly and fell in the end.
October 28, 2009: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (L, 109-108)
Here we have another loss to open a season at home, this time to a Houston Rockets team that featured Luis Scola (now with the Phoenix Suns). He logged 11 rebounds and 21 points in a close win. Trevor Ariza led the team in scoring however, logging 25 points shooting just a hair under 43 percent from the field.
The Warriors still had scoring machine and notorious volume shooter Monta Ellis in ’09, and he was newly acquired along with their first round pick, a slight-framed combo guard out of Davidson with an NBA pedigree. He scored 26 points on 50 percent shooting (10-20 from the field), but also tallied a negative +/- with a -12. Curry scored 14 points and dished seven assists, good for a +7 rating. A disappointing loss again, yes. But things were looking up starting here.
October 27, 2010: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (W, 132-128)
Rematch time! In the first victory out of our set of five, both teams lit it up for a very high-scoring game. A sophomore Curry scored 25 points and racked up 11 assists, making his presence known in a revenge game against the Rockets for the second home opener in two years. He wasn’t the real story that night, though. Ellis poured in a jaw-dropping 46 points on an astoundingly efficient 18-24 night, good for a 75 percent field goal percentage (50 percent from downtown). Despite a great game from Luis Scola once again (16 rebounds, 36 points), the Rockets fall to the Warriors and slide to an 0-2 record at the start of the 2010-11 season.
December 25, 2011: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors (L, 105-86)
This year’s Christmas Day opponents saw the Dubs on the same day two years ago, only it also happened to be the first game of the series due to the lockout year. The Warriors have an absolutely dismal shooting night clocking in at an underwhelming 39 percent from the field.
Meanwhile, pretty much the entire Clippers team plays very well, with Caron Butler getting a double-double with 10 rebounds and 11 points while Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups pour in a collective 63 points (22, 20, 21 respectively). Not a good night to kick off a shortened season.
October 31, 2012: Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns (W, 87-85)
Fitting that a game with more than its fair share of scares falls on Halloween. We’ve finally arrived at the most recent season opener, in a fantastic season that we all know the ending to.
The Dubs barely pulled this one out behind 57 points from Klay Thompson, Carl Landry, Jarrett Jack, and Brandon Rush in a fairly low-scoring game. Curry was cold as ice, scoring only five points but turning the ball over four times while only dishing three assists. Not his best night. On the flip side, Michael Beasley shot poorly (2-9), but due to solid play from the starters, Phoenix fought it out to the bitter end.
Also, Luis Scola makes a third appearance on this list, winning the imaginary award for consecutive appearances in sections of an article. Yeah, yeah, I’ll show myself out after that one.
One thing’s for sure, though. Can’t wait until this year’s opener.