It wasn’t long ago that the Warriors were basking in the California sun with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy as they paraded down Market Street for another celebratory parade.
But after a few months to recuperate and relax, the NBA season is quickly approaching and a tell-tale sign came Wednesday when the league officially released its 2022-23 regular-season schedule.
The Warriors will be missing several faces from last season’s championship-winning team, including Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. Still, the Warriors are among the favorites to win it all again this season.
There will be plenty of things for Warriors fans to look forward to in this upcoming season, including the presumed return of James Wiseman and the continuous development of the next generation of Warriors players that includes Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
Here are five things to know about the Warriors’ schedule:
1. Early season outlook
The Warriors dominated out of the gates last season, boasting an 18-3 record by the end of November. They accomplished that feat without Klay Thompson, who didn’t make his return from a 2 1/2 year absence until January, and Wiseman, who missed all of last season because of knee problems.
This fall, both those players are expected to be ready at the start of the season.
After a quick trip to Japan for two exhibition games before coming back to San Francisco, where they’ll host three preseason games, the Warriors begin their title defense Oct. 18 against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at Chase Center — but not before they’ll relish in their 2022 title one more time with a celebratory ring and banner ceremony before the game.
This game will be a repeat of last year’s season opener when Golden State shut down the Lakers, 121-114.
Three days later, the Warriors, who play four of their first five games at home, will host the Denver Nuggets, whom they beat in the first-round of the playoffs.
The first two months of the Warriors’ schedule is a mixed bag of opponents. Eleven of the first 22 games are against teams who were in the last season’s play-in tournament or playoffs. The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat, the top seeds in the playoffs of their respective conferences, will each play the Warriors twice before Thanksgiving
Golden State will play the Mike Brown-led Sacramento Kings three times by the end of November.
2. Number of back-to-backs
For the third consecutive season, the Warriors have 15 sets of back-to-backs, including three home-home matchups (Dec. 2-3, Dec. 27-28 and March 2-3.) One differencefrom last season is that a quarter of those pairings won’t come in the final month of the season.
The Warriors had four back-to-backs in the final three weeks of last season. Golden State has just one in that span this season, with the Warriors playing at Atlanta and Memphis on April 17 and 18, respectively. Golden State also has one back-to-back in March when it hosts the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans on the 2nd and 3rd.
Still, the last seven weeks will provide a challenge for the Warriors, who stumbled late last season after Stephen Curry went down with a foot injury.
Fourteen of the Warriors’ last 22 games are against teams who either made the play-in tournament or playoffs last season. They’ll play the Grizzlies, their toughest matchup in last year’s playoffs, twice on the road in March, including once on the back-end of a back-to-back.
3. Playoff rematches
Possibly the most anticipated game on the Warriors’ schedule is their marquee Christmas Day matchup against the Grizzlies. The rematch of the Western Conference semifinals, which included plenty of trash talk, ejections and drama, had been something Ja Morant and Draymond Green were pushing for since the Warriors beat the Grizzlies in six games.
The Warriors play the Grizzlies four times total. After the holiday battle at Chase Center, the Warriors hots the Grizzlies again Jan. 25 before playing in Memphis March 9 and 18.
Other playoff rematches to look for:
First-round rematch against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets:
– Oct. 18 at Chase Center
– Feb. 2 and April 2 in Denver
Western Conference finals rematch against Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks:
– Nov. 29 and March 22 in Dallas
– Feb. 4 at Chase Center
NBA Finals rematch against Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics:
– Dec. 10 at Chase Center
– Jan. 19 in Boston
4. Longest homestand and trip
One of the longest trips of last season came toward the tail-end of the year when the Warriors went to five cities in seven days. It was a road adventure that Golden State would like to forget. Without Curry, the Warriors unraveled and went 1-4.
Golden State had only two five-game trips last season, but this time around, the team will have four.
Golden State’s longest trip this season will come Dec. 13-21 when the team embarks on a nine-day trip across six cities that includes stops in Milwaukee, Indiana, Toronto, Philadelphia and New York. Their other five-game trips will occur Oct. 29-Nov. 4, Jan. 13-20 and March 15-22.
Meanwhile, the Warriors’ longest homestand, an eight-game stretch from Dec. 25-Jan. 10, matches the longest homestand in franchise history, tying the mark from last season and in 2010-11. During that span, the Warriors will host the Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Suns.
5. Broadcast schedule
The Warriors will make 30 national TV appearances on ABC, ESPN and TNT, starting with their season opener against the Lakers on TNT. Their 2022 NBA Finals rematch against the Celtics Dec. 10 and marquee Christmas Day matchup against the Grizzlies will be televised on ABC.
In total, six of the Warriors’ games are scheduled for ABC. They’ll have another 12 on TNT and 12 on ESPN.
More information on the Warriors’ broadcast schedule can be found here.
Cheat Sheet: Key dates to know
Sept. 24 — Training Camp Opens
Sept. 30/Oct. 1 — NBA Japan Games: Warriors versus Wizards in Tokyo
Oct. 18 — NBA Opening Night: Warriors vs. Lakers at Chase Center
Feb. 19 — All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah
April 9 — End of regular season: Warriors’ season finale in Portland