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Three toughest stretches of Warriors' 2021-22 schedule

NBC Sports

The Warriors will love seeing that nine of their first 12 games – including eight in a row – will be at Chase Center, but they will not be pleased to realize that eight of their last 11 games, including the final two, will be on the road.

They will love the absence of road trips longer than five games and they’ll really love that there are no more than two back-to-back sets in any month.

There are, however, some difficult segments contained within the schedule released by the NBA on Friday. Here are three that look particularly challenging:

When the beasts in the East are hungry

Dec. 11 at Philadelphia: No matter how the Ben Simmons situation is settled, and it will be, the 76ers should be a top-four team in the Eastern Conference.

Dec. 13 at Indiana: The Warriors have lost two of their last three to the Pacers, who upgraded at head coach, hiring the highly respected Rick Carlisle.

Dec. 14 at New York: Third back-to-back set of the season, and Part II comes against a typically rugged and relentless Tom Thibodeau squad.

Dec. 17 at Boston: With Brad Stevens coaching the Celtics, the Warriors lost three of their last four at TD Garden. Can new coach Ime Udoka grab the torch?

Dec. 18 at Toronto: Winter in Canada and the second back-to-back set in six days. Hope the Warriors enjoyed the three days between the Knicks and Celtics. Five games, eight days. Three wins would be fantastic.

When the All-Star break is the answer to a prayer

Feb. 9 at Utah: The Warriors last season split two games against the team with the best record in the NBA. The Jazz have long memories.

 

Feb. 10 vs. New York: One night after the thin air of Salt Lake City, the Warriors face another rumble with the Knicks. This could be a long evening of hard labor.

Feb. 12 vs. Lakers: Never mind LeBron, just be aware that Russell Westbrook will be making his first appearance as a Laker at Chase Center and will want blood.

Feb. 14 at Clippers: Kawhi Leonard won’t take the court, but with a healthy Serge Ibaka – remember him? – the Clippers still have the goods to be formidable.

Feb. 16 vs. Denver: At long last, the final game before the week-long respite of the All-Star break. No doubt the Warriors will thank the heavens this game is not in Denver. Five games, eight days. Three wins would be a success.

RELATED: Five must-see Warriors games for the 2021-22 NBA season

When the schedule is the toughest opponent

March 22 at Orlando: The Warriors had maybe a dozen regrettable losses last season, and one was in this Disney-fied place.

March 23 at Miami: The Heat believe in punishment. At this point, excuse the Warriors for wondering why must they get so many fire-breathing teams on the second night of their back-to-back sets.

March 25 at Atlanta: The Hawks are young and talented and coming off their deepest playoff run in a half century. By the way, Trae Young doesn’t mind pushing the pace.

March 27 at Washington: The Wizards, who last season handed the Warriors a tough road loss, are supporting Bradley Beal with the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma. They’ll compete.

March 28 at Memphis: Sure. Why not end a road trip with an evening full of the always tenacious Ja Morant? On his home court. Tongues on the floor. Five games, seven days. Three wins would be remarkable.

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