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Golden State Warriors Schedule: 5 Key match-ups from the first half of 2020-21 NBA season

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
ANALYST
Modified 23 Dec 2020, 04:13 IST
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Now that the 2020-21 NBA Season is ready to begin, we can look forward to the key match-ups and storylines that will be occurring over the months ahead. The Golden State Warriors haven't played competitive basketball since they failed to make the bubble but will be appearing on opening night against the Brooklyn Nets. After a disappointing year hampered by injuries, Stephen Curry will hope he can lead the franchise back to the top of the West.

Golden State Warriors Schedule: Key games from the 2020-21 season

The Golden State Warriors come into the new season with little to fear after a injury-plagued year left them at the bottom of the West. After the disheartening news that Klay Thompson would be sidelined for another year, the Warriors will be relying on the scoring of leader Stephen Curry as well as that of their new signings.

If they are to return to the top of the West, several match-ups will be key in their pursuit of a playoff berth. Lets take a look at some of these.

#1 Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets (December 22nd)

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game One
Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game One

What better way for the Golden State Warriors to begin their season than by facing the team that is widely anticipated to succeed in the East this year, led by one of their former players, Kevin Durant.

The Brooklyn Nets come into this season as an unknown entity given this will be the forward's first game in 18 months. Playing alongside Kyrie Irving and the Nets' talented support cast of Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie among others, though, will help KD settle back into his rhythm and prove a stiff opening test for the Warriors.

This could prove to be a matter of who can outscore their opponent as Steph Curry returns to the floor for the Warriors. Without Klay Thompson, Curry will take up the mantle for both himself and his absent scoring partner but could struggle against Brooklyn's firepower unless he receives significant support from the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr.

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#2 Golden State Warriors vs Milwaukee Bucks (December 25th)

Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors face another Eastern giant on Christmas Day when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. Inspired by the re-signing of reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are expected to maintain their crown as regular season conference champions.

The Warriors will be relying on their primary defender Draymond Green to suffocate Giannis if they have any chance of winning this match-up. They may also deploy their No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman for additional length on the defensive end. On offense, Curry may have some fortune as the Bucks rotate between their two flexible guards Donte DiVincenzo and Jrue Holiday, though the latter will likely be used due to his superior defensive output.

#3 LA Clippers vs Golden State Warriors (January 6th)

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Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

In January, the Golden State Warriors face a double-header against the LA Clippers. Having tormented the Clippers in past years both in the regular season and in the playoffs, the Los Angeles side was able to win all three of their ties comfortably in the 2019-20 NBA season.

The Clippers will be wary of the Warriors attempts to resurface at the top of the West this year. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard should have enough to see off the Warriors, but with the history the two franchises share, Golden State may have the mental advantage going into the fixture as well as playing on home court.

#4 Golden State Warriors vs Denver Nuggets (January 14th)

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
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The Warriors continue a tough January when they travel to Denver to face last season's Western Conference finalists. In the playoffs, the Nuggets looked as if the hype that had been gathered over previous seasons was finally taking shape as they came back from 3-1 down in two series to reach the Western Finals.

Ultimately, fatigue may have played a part and the Lakers were able to beat them in five games in the Conference Finals. However, the rising power of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic will put the franchise back amongst the top seeds this season and will be an almighty test for the Warriors. They may struggle to guard the superstar center and will have to smother Murray to overcome their Western Conference rivals.

#5 Golden State Warriors vs LA Lakers (January 18th)

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors need no introduction. The two have faced each other enough times to share respect and a friendly rivalry which will make this game very exciting.

Stephen Curry and LeBron have challenged against one another in four NBA Finals while the latter was in Cleveland. Now with the LA Lakers, James is the king in the West and it will take all of Curry's powers to overcome the reigning league champions.

During the offseason, the Lakers were able to recruit several players which has made them favorites to win back-to-back titles. With nothing to lose, the Warriors will travel to LA hoping to prove that they won't be a pushover this season and are determined to regain their spot among the NBA elite.

Published 23 Dec 2020, 04:13 IST
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