Three immediate Warriors takeaways from '21-22 schedule


Steph Curry and Co. back at Chase Center, perhaps the Giants in the National League Championship Series just down the road and Jimmy Garoppolo and/or Trey Lance leading the 49ers. Come October, Bay Area sports will have a spotlight on them bright as can be. 

No show compares to the Steph Curry Show, though.

The Warriors are back in action Tuesday, Oct. 19 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in the season opener for the 2021-22 NBA slate. Two nights later, the Warriors welcome the LA Clippers to Chase Center in front of what one can only hope is a raucous crowd. 

Curry, Draymond Green and a healthy Klay Thompson are out for vengeance. Following five straight trips to the NBA Finals, the Warriors failed to make the playoffs last season for the second straight year. Can Curry play like a MVP again? Will Klay look like his old self when he returns? What does Andre Iguodala have left? How about Draymond? 

We'll have to wait and see to answer those vital questions. In the meantime, here are three instant takeaways from the Warriors' 2021-22 schedule. 

National Spotlight

All eyes will be on the Warriors again. The ratings watchers can't wait to put the Warriors in front of their cameras, trying to find as many storylines as possible. Here's the proof: The Warriors not only will play on Christmas again, they have 29 national TV games, including 12 in their first 29 games. 

And it's easy to see why. 

Curry is coming off a season in which he led the NBA in scoring, and his numbers were even better than his MVP seasons. Still, it wasn't enough to get the Warriors into the postseason. Now, he'll get his fellow Splash Brother back, likely some time in December. 

He'll also have one of his best friends and most important teammates back in Iguodala. While he likely isn't the same player he was when he won Finals MVP for the Warriors, he might be just as important to Golden State this time around. Sure, Iguodala will play key minutes, especially down the stretch for Steve Kerr. His role as mentor might be even more important. 

Iguodala wasn't just signed for his play on the court. He was signed for what he brings off it, too. Especially for rookie Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. Those two also will have a bright spotlight on them as rookie playing for a win-now team. 

There are so many narratives, and only so many cameras.

Final Month 

The Warriors aren't getting many favors opening their season against the Lakers and Clippers. It does help their next two games come against the Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder. Still, not a fun first two games. 

For as important as having a strong start is, the final month will be huge for the Warriors. By then, the Western Conference should be a battlefield. Thompson should have multiple months under his belt. The rookies might have even made a nice role for themselves. 

Golden State's final month of the regular season begins on March 10, 2022 in Denver against the Nuggets and ends April 10 in New Orleans against the Pelicans. The final month consists of seven home games and nine on the road. 

From March 22 through March 28, the Warriors find themselves on a five-game road trip. The road trip includes two back-to-backs. Luckily, two of the five games come against the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. This isn't close to the most important part. 

Of the Warriors' final 16 games, 10 are against teams that made the playoffs last season. Finishing the season against the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans isn't too bad, but the game before is a must-see against the Lakers in San Francisco.

The final month will have countless implications, shuffling the standings on a nightly basis.

The return of Kelly Oubre Jr. 

Curry's hometown team, Dell Curry on the broadcast, LaMelo Ball and possibly even Gelo Ball. There already were plenty of headlines in store for the Charlotte Hornets visiting the Bay Area on Nov. 3. Now, there's one that trumps them all. 

Oubre made it clear in the offseason that he wasn't too thrilled about his experience last season with the Warriors. That wound up being his one and only season with Golden State. The 25-year-old wing signed a two-year, $24.6 million contract this offseason with the Hornets. 

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

Warriors fans won't have to wait long to see Oubre again. Charlotte travels to San Francisco for the Warriors' seventh game of the year. Their reaction will be amazing. Will fans cheer? Will they boo? (Don't be corny). Or will it just be blah, which was the story of Oubre's lone season as a Warrior. 

In a time where the weather is unpredictable, Tsunami Papi's return should be a whirlwind, in more ways than one.

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