After more than a month of the NBA season, the Golden State Warriors have battled through multiple injuries to key pieces, ending up with an 11-8 record. The Warriors have plenty of quality wins, but have struggled against the upper echelon of the West. They fell to the Clippers, Spurs, Portland, Dallas, plus a close buzzer beater loss to the Thunder.
But if the Warriors want to begin to prove to themselves and fans that they can contend with some of the best teams in the West, they need to start performing at a higher level.
The Warriors next two games are against the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors are 0-2 against the Griz this season with one of those losses coming without Stephen Curry out. It will be their first of their two matchups against the Rockets next week.
Because Andre Iguodala is still out with his hamstring injury, the Warriors have resorted to their starting lineup of last season with Harrison Barnes at the small forward position.
To be frank, the results of the Rockets and Grizzlies games are not necessarily that important. What’s far more important is how they perform against said opponents. Iguodala is the Warriors’ best wing defender and without him in the lineup, the are likely going to struggle containing James Harden and Chandler Parsons. With Iguodala in the lineup, the Warriors would have him guard Harden, the league’s best two guard. Without him in, the Warriors will likely be in another one of their famous shootout games, which ends with both teams scoring more than 100 points.
Against the Grizzlies, the Warriors will have to find away to contain Z-Bo, Zach Randolph, but with Marc Gasol still out for the Grizzlies, the Grizzlies, much like the Warriors, are dealing with an injury to one of their best players. That’s another reason why these games are not overly important even though they are against two of the West’s best teams.