The 21-5 Boston Celtics will make an appearance at Chase Center on Saturday evening, attempting to avenge their loss to the 13-13 Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be motivated to accomplish what they couldn’t in game six where, with Stephen Curry’s 34 points and Andrew Wiggins’ lockdown defense, Golden State put another Larry O’Brien Trophy in the cabinet.
The Golden State Warriors’ last major road trip yielded a 0-5 record, and the defending champions’ season will be on life support by Christmas if that repeats.
The Warriors follow Saturday’s game with a six-game East Coast roadtrip. Unthinkable yet a distinct possibility, a disastrous outcome stares them in the face should their form continue — Golden State are 2-11 on the road so far this season. The rough upcoming schedule makes Monday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, and Wednesday’s heartbreaking loss to the Utah Jazz, all the more painful.
With two back-to backs also included, this trip feels like deja vu and may require Steve Kerr and the front office to rethink their approach on player management. Here’s how the results could play out:
December 13th v Milwaukee Bucks – L (Thompson out — Player Management)
December 14th v Indiana Pacers – W
December 16th v Philadelphia 76ers – W
December 18th v Toronto Raptors – L
December 20th v New York Knicks – W (Thompson out — Player Management)
December 21st v Brooklyn Nets – W
A 4-2 record feels like an optimistic outlook when in reality, these all present as games that could go either way. The Bucks matchup will be the most difficult, and assuming Thompson continues to rest on either side of a back-to-back, he should miss that marquee game to ensure victory over the Pacers the following night.
Golden State’s task is made all the more difficult by uncertainty surrounding Andrew Wiggins who’s missed the last two games with an adductor strain. The vitally important two-way wing has already been ruled out for the Celtics matchup, making the Warriors’ challenge of containing Tatum and Brown all the more difficult.
The thought of acquiring a winning record from the roadtrip, or even splitting it at 3-3, could very well hinge on Wiggins’ status. Either way, if the Warriors road form continues, their season could very well be on life support by Christmas.