Golden State Warriors’ matchup against Boston Celtics is biggest game yet

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 8: Zaza Pachulia
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 8: Zaza Pachulia /

The Golden State Warriors’ seven-game winning streak will be tested when they take on the Boston Celtics’ 13-game winning streak.

The Golden State Warriors have had an up-and-down season thus far. Despite being on a seven-game win streak, they haven’t looked like they’ve pieced it all together yet. Still, they’re making opponents look foolish.

Their biggest game of the season, thus far, was probably Opening Night. After receiving their rings, the Warriors built a huge lead, but slowly watched it disappear. Ultimately, James Harden and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Dubs and survived Kevin Durant’s post-buzzer jumper that would have given the Warriors a win.

Golden State dropped some games early, but are starting to find a rhythm. They’re blowing good teams out while still tinkering with rotations and sets. Coming off a double-digit Stephen Curry-less win over the surprisingly solid Orlando Magic, the Warriors face their toughest test of the year.

The team will fly to the East Coast to take on the new-look Boston Celtics. Even without Gordon Hayward–who, unfortunately, broke his leg in their opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers–the Celtics have been really good. Led by a familiar foe in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, the team has raced out to the top of the standings.

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Boston is on a 13-game winning streak. While their schedule hasn’t been particularly tough, a win is a win. And it becomes even more impressive when you’re doing it without your best player and are relying on young guys, including a rookie.

The Celtics have shown tremendous fight all season long. After falling to 0-2, they’ve won every single game they’ve played. Irving has developed into a leader, Horford has been one of the best players in the NBA, and guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are growing really fast.

This game means more to the Celtics than to the Warriors. Golden State doesn’t have to prove itself against anyone. Until someone beats them in a playoff series (or, heck, even beats them twice in a series), they are the top dog.

That doesn’t mean this game is entirely meaningless. The TD Garden will surely be rocking. The Warriors will be going into a hostile environment against an elite team for the first time this year.

Without Cury on the floor, their offense has struggled to get easy looks. This will be even harder against a team that has bought into defense. The Celtics are long, tenacious, and disciplined under Brad Stevens, who has motivated Irving to significantly increase his defensive intensity.

The Warriors don’t have to treat this like a playoff game, per se. But it would be nice to see them focus on executing at a higher level than they have all season long. This could be a potential NBA Finals matchup so you don’t want to show your hand too early, but you also want to know what works and what doesn’t when the games start to mean more.

This will be a tough test for the Warriors. Even more than usual, keeping turnovers down will be crucial. Steve Kerr will need to get creative with the offense and rotations, especially when it comes to making Horford uncomfortable.

Tomorrow night will be fun. The Celtics are trying to get to where the Warriors are and Golden State wants to show everyone that the gap between the best team and whoever the second best team may be is huge.