The 2022-23 schedule for all 30 NBA teams has finally been released, and it allows fans the opportunity to start marking their calendars and planning around the can’t miss games on the schedule. While not every team shares the same goals for the 2022-23 season, they all have games where fans will be circling dates and trying to make sure they’re in the building for or at least able to watch on TV, and here we are going to highlight five such games for each team.
In this post, we will glance at the schedule for the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are the only franchise that entered the 2022 offseason with complete bliss, knocking off the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, but Golden State did not rest on its laurels. The Warriors did lose Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damion Lee, and Nemanja Bjelica in free agency, but Golden State retained Kevon Looney, added JaMychal Green and Donte DiVincenzo through free agency, and tabbed Ryan Rollins and Gui Santos in the draft. Most importantly, the Warriors bring back the core of a multi-title winner, and Golden State has young players in Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman that could make a considerable leap. The Warriors will take the best shot of any opponent this season, and there is no shortage of high-profile matchups to monitor.
For the purposes of this exercise, we’re looking for games where Golden State figures to show up with its A-game, with five big-time matchups that could serve as benchmarks for their season defending as champs.
October 25, 2022: at Phoenix Suns (TNT, 10:00 p.m. ET)
Ring night is a big deal, but I’m more interested in the game a week later in Phoenix, likewise on TNT, where the Warriors will face their first big road test of the year against the Suns. We still don’t know exactly how the Suns will rebound from last year’s collapse, but they should be a team that is fighting Golden State for a top seed in the West. It’s one thing to get up for ring night, but how they arrive a week later for their first major road clash will tell me a bit more about the Warriors and how they’re approaching the early portion of the season.
December 10, 2022: vs. Boston Celtics (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
This will be the first time the Warriors get to face off with the team they dispatched in the NBA Finals, and given that both teams sit atop the oddsmakers favorites list, it could be a preview of a Finals rematch to come in 2023. This will be among the games you’d expect the Warriors to get up for and try to be at their best — which the NBA aided by giving them two days off before this one — for a primetime showdown.
December 25, 2022: vs. Memphis Grizzlies (ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Getting a Christmas Day game at home is one of the perks of being the champs, and in this instance the Warriors will get their first look of the season at a budding rival in Memphis, after going six games in the conference semis against the Grizzlies. This again figures to be a game the Warriors bring their A-game, and while it’s probably a bigger deal for the Grizz, Golden State will want to remind the young Memphis team of the pecking order in the West.
March 11, 2023: vs. Milwaukee Bucks (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The other favorite in the East are the champs of two years ago, and the Warriors will face them for the second and final time of the season at home on a Saturday night primetime game that could serve as another potential Finals preview. How these two teams matchup is fascinating and watching Giannis and Steph dominate on the same floor in two polar opposite ways is always fun.
March 15, 2023: at Los Angeles Clippers (ESPN, 10:00 p.m. ET)
The Clippers are the team that many believe should be the Warriors top competition in the West if they stay healthy (always a big if), and the two teams will face off three times over the course of a month days from a Valentines showdown before All-Star up to this one in L.A. in mid-March. Now, the first two of those have each team on some leg of a back-to-back, meaning it’s not a lock we get them at full strength even if health isn’t an issue. This one, though, has each team coming off of at least one off day (Warriors one day before, L.A. with three). To me, that signals this could be a bit of a playoff dress rehearsal for each team a month prior to the end of the regular season, which could make it very fun.