The NBA released its 2019-20 schedule Monday, and the league is wasting no time thrusting Chase Center under the spotlight. It is safe to presume the Warriors are delighted.
There are no fewer than 10 must-see games for Warriors fans, beginning with the regular-season opener at Chase, set for Thursday, Oct. 24, against the remodeled and much-improved Los Angeles Clippers -- perhaps the most discussed team in the NBA.
With All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joining the team that took the Warriors to six games in the 2019 playoffs, consider the Warriors-Clippers rivalry revived, only without the mutual animosity.
Here are nine more games, in chronological order, that deserve special attention:
Nov. 6: Warriors at Rockets
Is Rockets general manager Daryl Morey still obsessed with the Warriors? Is he still angry with Steph Curry’s remorseless dispatching of his team again, forcing a third retooling of the roster? Will Russell Westbrook and James Harden still love each other two weeks into the season?
Nov. 13: Warriors at Lakers
This is, by all accounts, the season LA will snap its playoff drought at six years. LeBron James will be on a mission to prove Father Time is a myth. Good luck with that, even with the addition of the fabulous Anthony Davis. Consider this a three-week measurement of each team.
Dec. 20: Pelicans at Warriors
Zion Time. Get a glimpse -- he might be even better on the gigantic outdoor HD screen on the Chase Center plaza. Why wait until Christmas to open the biggest, most fascinating gift presented by the NBA since LeBron arrived 16 years ago?
Dec. 25: Rockets at Warriors
For the first time in five seasons, the Warriors will not play the marquee game on Marquee Day in the NBA. No matter. It’s the hated Rockets, and they’re making their initial journey to Chase. Know that Warriors co-chairman Peter Guber, who loves spectacle, will have something memorable beyond the game itself.
Jan. 8: Bucks at Warriors
Giannis Antetokounmpo makes his only visit to the Bay Area. If there’s one player who must be seen to be believed, he’s it. It won’t be easy for the rookies on the Warriors’ roster to keep their chins off their knees.
Feb. 8: Lakers at Warriors
The new Lakers’ first trip to Chase includes the return to the Bay of three ex-Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee and Quinn Cook. Is it too soon to expect Klay Thompson to be back?
March 7: 76ers at Warriors
It’s three weeks after All-Star Weekend, so it’s reasonable to believe Thompson could be back to face Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford, Tobias Harris, etc. Philly is loaded and expected to battle Milwaukee for Eastern Conference supremacy.
April 9: Warriors at Lakers
The Warriors would like to believe they will be fighting for a top-four playoff seed in the West. LA would like to believe it has a chance to snag the No. 1 seed. There could be serious playoff intensity in this game.
April 11: Warriors at Clippers
The Warriors will be coming off a Friday night in LA. No biggie, right? It’s the last Saturday of the regular season, and at least one team will have something at stake. May the key players for both teams be fully healthy.