The disappointment of the Golden State Warriors opening loss to the Phoenix Suns is only heightened by a look ahead to their short-term schedule, with the franchise set for a tough stretch that could come to define their season.
Following a 40-19 third-quarter, the Warriors appeared to have the momentum on Tuesday night when Jonathan Kuminga gave them an eight-point lead with the first basket of the fourth-quarter. But from that point they were outscored 28-16, with the Suns executing more efficiently down the stretch.
The Golden State Warriors will have an early opportunity to address one of their big issues from last season.
Golden State will now play seven of their next eight games on the road, starting with a rematch of the 2023 first-round playoff series against the Sacramento Kings. While the Warriors went down narrowly in a close one against the Suns, their pacific rival Kings poured in 130 points in a 16-point season opening victory against the Utah Jazz.
The Warriors tough eight-game stretch will include two back-to-backs. Their first will take place with visits to Houston and New Orleans on Sunday and Monday. The second will come in Detroit and Cleveland on November 5 and 6.
What record should the Warriors be aiming for in their first 10 games?
Although it may be a tough road schedule, there are plenty of winnable games for Golden State. In fact, their final road game of the stretch in Denver may be the only one where they enter as significant underdogs.
The Warriors may enter as favorites in Houston, Oklahoma City and Detroit, and so too their lone home game in another matchup with Sacramento. If Golden State can get to a 5-5 record that should be deemed a good result, though that’s been made more difficult by their loss to Phoenix.
Having lost their first eight games on the road, the Warriors begun last season 3-7 after 10 games and were seemingly behind the eight-ball for much of the remainder. They finished the season 11-30 on the road, ranked 27th in the league.
If Golden State can possess a near .500 record on the road, that should set them up effectively to garner the sort of top five seed they’ll be aspiring towards in the Western Conference.