The 2011-12 NBA season hangs in limbo, but team schedules were still released anyway. Whether or not there will be games, its never too early to start planning your Warrior game watching schedule. I break down five games you won't want to miss this coming season, if there is one.
The Warriors are, indeed, cursed. Just as Joe Lacob began rebuilding the house (hopefully into a mansion) that previous owner Chris Cohan left to rot the last 15 years, the NBA season is amidst a lockout with little movement on either sides as of late. Lacob is probably wondering why for two straight summers he can't get his team ready for the beginning of the season. Cursed Cohan!
But, if the season does begin as scheduled, there is a lot to look forward to in Warriorland. For years, fans and analysts alike knew that the problem with the Warriors consistent 30 win seasons was as much a structural issue as it was an issue of the talent assembled on the bench. This off-season, Lacob has gutted members of the front office and infused it with both legends (Jerry West) and potential (Bob Myers). The revamped coaching staff with assistants plucked from plus .500 teams and a coach known for being one of the greatest point guards of his generation offers up some interesting subtexts to several matchups this season.
That's if the season ever starts.
Here are, in my opinion, five can't miss games this season. If there were any games to miss work, midterm/final, wedding (even if its your own!), date, birth of your child, and/or birthday party, these games would be it. In chronological order. . . .
Nov 2, Los Angeles Lakers @ Warriors: It's the first game of the season, so of course it's a "can't miss" game. And it's against a division rival. Except, Lakers fans probably wouldn't consider it a rivalry and probably haven't since the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties when the Warriors were actually good.
But what's more important about this game is that the clock officially begins ticking for new coach Mark Jackson and for owner Joe Lacob. Whether the Warriors win or lose, it would be unfair to judge Jackson's coaching and Lacob's decision-making based off the first game of the season. But this first game still matters in that we finally get a glimpse of whether Lacob knows how to own/run a team as well as his start-ups in the medical field.
Will Lacob's supreme team hold up against the Lakers new coaching staff starring Lebron James-less Mike Brown? The battle of new coaches should add to an already exciting night.
Nov 4, Sacramento Kings @ Warriors: Jimmer-Mania hits the San Francisco Bay Area! When judging Jimmer's ceiling and comparable as an NBA player, many fans and analysts thought he had the chops to be the next Stephen Curry. Both can shoot and both are terrible defenders. If they end up defending each other, this could be an awesome shootout between the two. . . .and a ton of matador defense. Lead assistant coach Mike Malone, lets hope you can do the impossible and teach Stephen Curry how to play some defense.
Speaking of Mike Malone. . . .
Nov 11, Warriors @ New Orleans Hornets: Mike Malone returns to a place he called home for the last few seasons as an assistant coach. Lets hope Malone can help the Warriors contain Chris Paul, preferably with one of this diminutive guards in Monta Ellis or Curry. If so, Warrior fans will have a lot to smile about for this season.
Dec 17: Warriors @ Charlotte Bobcats: Early in the off-season, Stephen Curry did his tour of local Charlotte news stations and was not shy about his desire to play in front of his peoples. His whole life is there (as his off-season obligations are any indication) and what player wouldn't relish the opportunity to play in front of family and friends.
Well, Curry and the Warriors face the Charlotte Bobcats and you can bet Curry will put on a show. Could this game be a premonition of things to come in the near future? That is, Curry lighting it up for the Bobcats?
More importantly, what kind of Stephen Curry paraphernalia do you think the Bobcats will hand out to fans? I could imagine an impressive opening video on the jumbotron welcoming home Curry during the pre-game introductions.
Dec 28, New York Knicks @ Warriors: According to Joe Lacob, the New York Knicks were interested in taking Jeremy Tyler with the 40th pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
With almost two months into the season, the Warriors, if the coaching staff is developing Tyler and helping him with his maturity issues, can show off what the Knicks missed out on.
Also, Mark Jackson returns to Madison Square Garden where he starred as a player (in short and long shorts). How exciting for locals to see the local high school legend and NBA player return now as a coach?