After 10 games, the 8-2 Golden State Warriors sit in second place in the Western Conference, behind only the Los Angeles Clippers at 10-1. Second place isn't what people were expecting from these Warriors. Fans and analysts alike were thinking only two thoughts: either the Warriors would dominate, or the Warriors would be terrible. So far, the team is nestled near the top overall seed but their biggest tests lie ahead, directly ahead, in fact. Golden State had a mini road trip a few weeks ago, where they grabbed three victories, and the team is 4-1 on the road so far, their only loss against Luke Walton's LA Lakers. But tonight's game against the Raptors means the start of a four-game road trip to the East Coast. First stop: Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
Wednesday, Nov. 16 - Toronto Raptors (7-2)
The Raptors, not Spurs, were actually the first team to face the mighty 2017 Warriors AND the first team to hand them a loss. The two teams tipped off the preseason back on October 1st and Toronto got the better of the Dubs, winning 97-93. It was our first glimpse of the new-look Warriors and also our first glimpse back at Toronto, a team that made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. DeMar Derozan didn't play so well in that preseason game, but he has certainly stepped on the gas pedal in the regular season. DeRozan leads the league with 34 points per game, which the team has desperately needed as Kyle Lowry hasn't begun the year quite as hot (37% from the field and 28% from three).
Friday, Nov. 18 - Boston Celtics (5-5)
From Toronto, Golden State flies farther east to Boston to face the Celtics, a team that played the Warriors incredibly tough last year. In their first meeting, the Warriors squeaked out a win in a 2OT thriller at TD Garden in Boston. Then, late in the year, with the record for most wins in a season on the line, the Dubs played Boston at home and lost by only three points. After failing to recruit Kevin Durant this summer, something Jae Crowder is still not happy about, the Celtics moved on with their own prized free agent in Al Horford. Horford recently sustained a concussion and might miss the game against the Warriors, which would be a real buzzkill for Celtics fans. The team is 5-5 and Avery Bradley is their best rebounder. They need a win.
Saturday, Nov. 19 - Milwaukee Bucks (5-4)
The second night of a back-to-back finishes up in Milwaukee, where the Warriors lost their first game last season after winning the first 25. The Bucks added a few more pieces this offseason to surround their young star with and Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be feeding off the new-found energy. The Greek Freak leads his team in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks and has now solidified his role as the teams point-forward. His outside shot still needs some work, but his handles and length have put Milwaukee in a good spot to begin the new season. With resting becoming all the rage in the NBA, don't be surprised if some Warriors stars sit this game out.
Monday, Nov. 21 - Indiana Pacers (4-5)
The last stop on Golden State's road trip will be Indianapolis to face the Pacers. Many people picked Paul George's Pacers as a surprise team out of the East, thanks to the addition of PG Jeff Teague and the emergence of Myles Turner towards the end of last season. But after nine games, the Pacers record sits at 4-5, and their defense has thoroughly let them down. Our very own Michael Allen says so. Indiana is 0-5 on the road so the team will be happy to be back home at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. I expect a hard fought game.