The Warriors have played 14 of their 22 games on the road this season. If that mark seems extreme, it’s because it’s the highest number of road games any team in the NBA has played this year.
The team gets a brief break from spending most of its time in airports, with seven of the next nine games at Oracle Arena — including tonight’s game against former Warrior Monta Ellis and the Dallas Mavericks — but then it’s back on the road for seven games around New Year’s.
Those numbers combined with the injury bug puts Golden State’s 12-10 record in a different light.
“We’ve won some big games and we’ve lost some games we should have won,” point guard Stephen Curry said Tuesday. “It shows that we’re a talented team and we’re deep, it almost makes it worse to think that we could be winning in spite of what’s going on and we’re not getting it done.”
Players and coaches alike on Tuesday said they have given little thought to the imbalance of road and home games so far, pointing out that, in the end, everyone plays the same number of games.
The team’s practice Tuesday was a light one, with Draymond Green and Jermaine O’Neal joining the growing group sitting out. Green suffered an ankle injury in Monday’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats and O’Neal is resting a wrist injury that has plagued him for some time.
Coach Mark Jackson said it made the practice a little unusual, but that getting his guys rest would be worth it.
“We still get our work in,” he said. “There’s ways of getting your work in, but you have to be mindful of the fact that you have two games coming up against two good teams, and you want to be healthy and whole, so you figure it out.”
The injury with the biggest impact is still weeks away from returning to the court, however. Andre Iguodala hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring injury on Nov. 22, and including the game he left early, the Warriors have gone 4-6 since.
The swingman — who set the league abuzz when he joined the Warriors in the offseason — was on the court shooting jump shots Tuesday, and traveled with the team on its most recent road trip. Hamstring injuries being as fickle as they are, however, Jackson emphasized they would stay “true to the process” until he’s ready to go full speed.
In the meantime, Iguodala will continue to join the team on road trips as long as he’s able to.
“I’m a guy that believes that we’re a total team,” Jackson said. “And if you have an opportunity to travel, when you can’t because of an injury then you shouldn’t, but if you can travel, you should travel. I don’t want any of my guys getting lost away from the team thinking that they’re on an island by themselves.”
NOTE: The Warriors tonight will recognize their fans with #DUBNATION night. T-shirts will be given out to the first 3,000 fans to check in at the game on Facebook. Special giveaways will be handed out, fan tweets and Instagram posts will be displayed on the scoreboard, and fans at home can participate in a contest through the team’s mobile app.