Ranking the Top 5 Golden State Warriors Games to Watch in April
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The Golden State Warriors look like they are playoff-bound as they head into April, which is the final month of the NBA regular season. Their first goal will be to clinch a playoff spot (particularly the sixth seed), but they will get a good litmus test along the way.
The final eight games in April will include matchups against the two best teams in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Warriors don't win enough games to secure the sixth seed, they will be stuck having to play either the Spurs or the Thunder in the first round. They also get a chance to put away potential playoff competition in their games against the Utah Jazz and the rival Los Angeles Lakers.
April will be jam-packed with action as the Warriors try and relive the excitement that was caused by the “We Believe” team in their last playoff experience after the 2006-07 regular season.
April 7: Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors
The Warriors will be happy to see the Jazz playing on the road.
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After two winnable games against the New Orleans Hornets and at the Phoenix Suns, the Warriors will probably have a chance to put more distance between them and the Utah Jazz. The Jazz have been slipping down the standings during the past month and are now are in the fight of their lives to hold on to the final playoff spot.
The Jazz are a dominant home team with a record of 27-9 at EnergySolutions Arena, but on the road they are a lot less formidable, going 11-27. The Warriors will look to take advantage of that as Utah visits for the first time this season.
The Warriors split the two games played in Utah, and they would like to secure their playoff spot and win the season series at the same time on April 7.
April 11: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook get one final stop at Oracle.
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The first of the last real tests will bring the Oklahoma City Thunder to Oracle Arena. The Warriors have had a lot more success this season against the Thunder than in previous years. Golden State lost two games in Oklahoma City this season, but they won their last home meeting.
Stephen Curry had a magnificent night by scoring 31 points, but he also iced the contest with a classic steal. Curry has been feeling it as of late, and I would expect him to show his skills against the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The Warriors want to stay away from having to face the Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs, but Golden State can get a quick refresher course in case they have to face them in the second round.
The Dubs could be on the verge of clinching a playoff spot with a win in this game, so they should be playing at their best.
April 12: Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers
The rivalry between the Warriors and Lakers is intense as ever.
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April 12 gives the fans a true NorCal versus SoCal battle as the Warriors visit Los Angeles for the last time in the regular season. The two teams fared off March 25 at Oracle, in what was a very decisive Warriors win.
Howard then spouted off, telling media sources that Lee should expect some payback at the next meeting (via Yahoo Sports). Lee was assessed a retroactive flagrant 1 foul the next day and cooler heads prevailed.
With the intensity of this rivalry, the recent actions and the Lakers struggling to get into the playoffs, this matchup will definitely be one to watch. The Warriors may even have the chance to do significant damage to the Lakers’ playoff hopes.
April 15: San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors
The Warriors will look to beat the Spurs for the second time this season.
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The last regular-season home game of the year pits the Warriors up against the nemesis San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors will try and reprise their effort the last time the Spurs visited Oracle, when they busted out their short sleeve jerseys for the first time and came home victorious in overtime.
That win was the first for the Warriors versus the Spurs since 2008, and it gave the Dubs a lot of confidence. Yes, they haven't won a game in San Antonio since 1997, so they would probably prefer not to face the Spurs in any round.
A win in the final home game, even if the Spurs choose not to go with all of their regulars, will give the Warriors the frame of mind that they can hang with the Spurs in a playoff series. Golden State will want to give all of their passionate fans one last homemade regular-season gift.
April 17: Golden State Warriors @ Portland Trail Blazers
Stephen Curry and the Warriors have dominated the Trail Blazers so far this season.
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The final must-see game in April is the last game of the regular season. The Warriors still might have a fight on their hands: a battle for the sixth seed with the Houston Rockets. The Rose Garden is always a difficult place to play and the Warriors have not won there in two years.
Golden State will need to put out a strong effort as they should be approaching their first playoff appearance since the “We Believe” team of 2006-07. A major letdown in this game could dramatically change their focus and leave them vulnerable going into the playoffs.
This game should be a celebration of all the hard work that this team has put forth this season, and a reminder of how much this team has grown under Coach Mark Jackson. The next stop should be an exciting playoff series to be determined.