The Warriors have had an up and down 2011-2012 campaign.
The Warriors entered the 2011-2012 season with high hopes and moderate expectations for a playoff berth.
Thus far, fans have been treated to a disappointing Dubs squad that has floundered in the season's the first half, posting a sub-.500 record and appearing en route to the team's 16th postseason-less campaign in 17 years. While there were a few emphatic wins that demonstrated the Warriors' potential, the team currently sits outside playoff contention.
Will the second half of the season be any different? Here are 10 key match-ups for Golden State.
The Warriors were just edged by the Thunder at home.
When these two teams met in at Oracle on the February 7th, the Warriors flashed their most prolific scoring night of the season, shooting 55 percent from the floor, led by a Monta Ellis career-high 48 points and a triple-double by mercurial big man David Lee.
However, the Dubs were edged by OKC on a last-minute bank shot by Kevin Durant, in what many felt like was the Warriors' best effort of the season. It will be interesting to see how Golden State responds on the road, especially after a tough loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on February 15th.
Prediction: Thunder +5
The Blake Show comes back to Oakland for a rematch.
The Clips should be welcomed by a sellout crowd in Oakland hoping to catch some of Lob City in this rematch from Christmas Day. While the Clippers won convincingly on opening night with a 19-point advantage, the game was relatively close until about midway though the third quarter.
Look for the Warriors to make this one a thriller, despite the tough match-ups of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, without the injured Kwame Brown.
Danny Granger drives past Dorell Wright. Can the Warriors stop him?
The first game out of the All-Star break usually helps set the tone for the second half of the season, and the Pacers will be no forlorn opponent for this inconsistent Warriors squad.
The Warriors fell short on a Monta Ellis turnover late that led to a three-point play by George Hill with 1.8 seconds left—a mild farce that cost the Dubs the game. If the Warriors can slow down Danny Granger and prevent Roy Hibbert from dominating on the glass like he did that game, they could potentially steal this one.
Prediction: Warriors +.5
Dirk will be a tough match-up for the Warriors.
A day after the trade deadline could mean an altered roster might take the court that Saturday night for both teams. The Dubs should see another lively crowd in hopes of catching the reigning NBA Champions at work.
The Bay Area tends to remiss 2007 whenever Dallas comes to tow
Prediction: Mavs +6
When these two teams take the court, it's personal.
This seems to be like a bitter Northern California rivalry in the making with both teams grinding it out against each other for wins this season, most recently with the Kings edging the Warriors in overtime at Arco Arena on February 4th.
With Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans finishing one and two in the 2009 Rookie of the Year race, Lee and DeMarcus Cousins constantly chomping at the bit on the court and former Warriors head coach Keith Smart handling the reigns in Sacramento, this will be an intriguing match-up for years to come.
Prediction: Warriors +2
The Big Three might be in their final days together.
The Big Three aren’t championship-caliber anymore, but that won’t stop Warriors fans from packing Oracle for a Wednesday night showdown with Doc River’s Celtics. It will be interesting to see if the age and experience of the Celtics can keep pace with the young talent of Golden State.
This match-up also features two coaches who have spent time in the broadcast booth, with Mark Jackson leaving ABC to take the Warriors position this season and Rivers leaving the same network for Boston in 2004.
Prediction: Celtics +3
Stephen Jackson is not a popular guy in the Bay Area after forcing his way to the Bobcats in 2009.
Should Stephen Jackson still be with the Bucks after the trade deadline, he will be heckled incessantly by a Friday night crowd at Oracle due to his trade request in 2009. This is a strength on strength pairing, with Scott Skiles’ defensive-minded, scoring-anemic Milwaukee squad facing off with the sharpshooting, porous Warriors.
Prediction: Warriors +6
All-Star Kevin Love usually draws David Lee as his defensive assignment.
It’s Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement ceremony, and Warriors fans will get to celebrate with a bobblehead, Love and Rubio.
Lee and Love present solid match-ups against each other, with Love having the slight edge in size and Lee with his passing ability, but what Rubio can do against Curry or Ellis remains to be seen.
Prediction: Warriors +2
Oracle gives the Warriors an edge against the Kings.
Yet another Kings-Warriors duel for fans to look forward to. This game will be the deciding one in the four-game season series. Playing in Oakland gives the Dubs a slight edge.
Predicition: Warriors +1
Kobe Bryant always gives Golden State a headache.
This low profile NorCal-vs.-SoCal rivalry is always a fan favorite. Kobe dropped 39 against the Dubs at Staples Center earlier in the season and tends to dominate the Warriors on the road, but it should be a great time out regardless.
Prediction: Lakers +5