Warriors must hang in early, surge late

Warriors must hang in early, surge late
July 30, 2012, 3:10 pm
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When it comes to assessing the Warriors chances for successin 2012-13, you get an array of opinions from their fans.Some believe this Warriors roster is as complete as anysince the 2007-08 season, when they went 48-34. Those fans are thinkingplayoffs, not surprisingly.The more pessimistic fans are skeptical that the team canremain healthy for an entire season, and that even if they do its going to betough to make the playoffs.But the one thing everyone can likely agree on is that therecipe for Warriors success seems clear: Theyve got to hang in early and thenmake a surge late.In other words, dont look for the Warriors to start quicklyand be firmly embedded in the playoff mix from the get-go and then try tohold off the competition.The 2012-13 Warriors schedule lends itself to the teamwinning more games late in the season than early. In short, their schedule isvery unfriendly early, then gets more kind late.NEWS: Warriors open season in Phoenix on HalloweenThe Warriors open with 15 of their first 24 games on theroad. Of the nine home games they play during that stretch, six will comeagainst playoff teams from a year ago.The Warriors complete that early stretch with a seven-gameroad trip to Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando andAtlanta. Yes, there a few winnable games on that trip, but keep in mind theWarriors were just 11-22 on the road a season ago. Their record away fromOracle Arena the past four seasons is 37-119 (.237).The Warriors, who went 23-43 last season, expect to be abetter team overall in 2012-13, and certainly a better road team. But thereality is that the core of the team will be playing together for the firsttime come the start of the season, and that doesnt lend itself to a quickstart when the majority of games are away from Oracle.The good news comes in March and April, when the Warriorswill have an opportunity to do some major damage. Sixteen of the teams final22 are at home, including two separate homestands of seven and five games,respectively.The seven-gamer in March is littered with winnable games Toronto, Sacramento, Houston, Milwaukee, New York, Detroit and Chicago andthe five-gamer isnt exactly a bear, either: Washington, L.A. Lakers,Sacramento, Portland and New Orleans.The Warriors schedule sets the team up for plenty of winslate in the season. But for those wins to matter, the Warriors are going tohave stay afloat early.