The Golden State Warriors did what they needed to do over a short two-game home stint, overcoming two genuine championship contenders in the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
A 123-112 win against the Suns on Sunday signified the Warriors eighth-straight win at Chase Center. That matches their current eight-game road losing streak, with their home and road contrast continuing to be one of the most bizarre aspects of this NBA season.
The Golden State Warriors must address their road woes ahead of a five-game stretch that will likely come to define their season.
A 7-26 road record has prevented Golden State from solidifying a playoff spot with 13 games left in the regular season. They now prepare for five-straight road games in what shapes as a major examination of their biggest issue in 2022-23.
That starts with a crunch game against their pacific rival Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena on Wednesday. Both teams hold the same 36-33 record, and this one individual game could well determine who finishes fifth in the Western Conference.
They follow that with a trip to Atlanta to play a Hawks team that, despite having an underwhelming season, is still fighting for a playoff spot at eighth in the East. That signals the start of a tough back-to-back for the Warriors, with a renewal of their rivalry with the Memphis Grizzlies to occur the following day.
The lowly Houston Rockets should present as the easiest task of the road-trip, though their young talented squad did conjure a surprise win over the Boston Celtics on Monday. Golden State then round out the road-trip with a clash against the Dallas Mavericks in what’s sure to be another major result in establishing the final standings.
Speaking after his 38 points against the Suns, the ever-optimistic Klay Thompson remained confident of his team’s ability to address their road woes on the upcoming stretch.
"“I think we’re going to do it with these next five games. I think we’re going to come out of this road-trip with a lot of great momentum. Although history this season has been not so good to us, I think it’s our time to ramp up our ability to win games.”"
Anything less than a 3-2 record and the Warriors are putting themselves in serious danger of being involved in the play-in tournament. Who knows, if their consecutive road losses balloons out further into double-figures, then not even the play-in is 100% assured.
Conversely, a winning record would solidify a crucial top six position. Four or five wins could even see them gain home court advantage in the first round, with Golden State just 1.5 games behind a Phoenix team who’s likely to be without Kevin Durant for the remainder of the regular season.
The Warriors hold an all-time record 27 straight playoff series with at least one road win — dating all the way back to 2013. This has been one of the best road teams in modern NBA history over the last decade, and it’s do-or-die time to show that it remains the case.