The Golden State Warriors’ 2019-2020 NBA season couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. The five-time defending Western Conference champions were blown out as they opened their new building against the Los Angeles Clippers, losing 141-122 Thursday night.

For the first time in a half-decade, the Warriors are not considered a favorite to win the NBA Finals. Kevin Durant is gone. A torn ACL could keep Klay Thompson out for the entire year. Andre Iguodala was traded. Shaun Livingston retired.

By previous seasons’ standards, this campaign could be a long one for the Warriors.

But there are reasons to be optimistic, at least in the short term. Golden State faces a relatively easy schedule to kick off the season after hosting the NBA favorites.

The Warriors are back in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday. Golden State concludes a short two-game road trip Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Golden State returns home Wednesday night for a four-game homestand. The Warriors will take on the Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers over the course of six days.

There’s a chance the Warriors will be favored in all six of those contests, depending on how they play to start the season.

Oklahoma City traded Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the summer, potentially making them one of the worst teams in the West. New Orleans isn’t a playoff-caliber team with Zion Williamson recovering from knee surgery. Those are two very winnable road games.

Phoenix is improved, but they had the worst record in the West last season and Deandre Ayton has been suspended 25 games for violating the NBA’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Charlotte has one of the NBA’s worst rosters.

San Antonio will contend for a postseason berth, though they aren’t close to being an elite team. Portland is the most difficult of those six opponents. It would be a surprise if the Trail Blazers are back in the conference finals this season.

After a tough road game with the Houston Rockets in the eighth game of the season, the Warriors visit Minnesota and Oklahoma City.

A 7-3 start is not an unrealistic expectation. The Warriors are bound to look much better than they did in the season debut.

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry won his third NBA title with the Golden State Warriors in 2018. In this picture, Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, June 8, 2018. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Stephen Curry is still the best shooter in the league. He had an off night against the Clippers, missing nine of his 11 three-point attempts.

D’Angelo Russell showed signs of what he can bring offensively. The guard went 4-8 from three-point range in his Golden State debut.

Draymond Green was banged up with an elbow injury he suffered early in the game. The Warriors were outscored by 35 points when their best defensive player was on the court. Expect Green to be much more effective over the next couple of weeks.

The Warriors lack depth. A young, unproven bench couldn’t match the Clippers’ reserves. Golden State will struggle when playing the league’s deepest teams.

That will come later. Curry is going to have his share of 30 and 40-point games when facing some of the league’s lesser teams.

The two-time MVP can carry Golden State past teams they should beat, putting them near the top of the standings in the early part of the season.