The Warriors opened the season expressing three objectives, solely certainly one of which may be very tangible: Make the playoffs comfortably sufficient to keep away from the play-in event.
Meaning no decrease than a No. 6 seed.
Requested Tuesday if that remained the objective, Warriors coach Steve Kerr reiterated it: “Oh, hell yeah.”
To bypass the play-in event involving seeds 7-through-10, they’ll need to get appreciably higher. And so they understand it.
“We simply need to not be within the play-in scenario,” Stephen Curry stated. “That may be useful. However we wish one of the best seeding attainable. Each win issues. Each recreation issues.”
That’s completely true because the Warriors (19-16, eighth within the Western Convention) shut out the primary half of the season Wednesday evening in Portland and Thursday evening in Phoenix. It’s a brutal back-to-back set with doubtlessly extreme penalties.
If the Warriors win each video games and rise to 20-15, they go 5 over .500 for the primary time this season, transfer up as excessive as fifth within the standings and go into the All-Star break with a semblance of momentum. They may even fantasize about the place they may land in Might.
“You need to be as excessive as attainable,” Curry stated. “In all probability the best-case situation with the place we’re proper now, possibly we will sneak into the four-seed. That may be superb.”
Superb? How about unbelievable?
A cut up of the following two video games is reasonable however unsatisfying insofar because the Warriors would attain the break at 20-17, three video games over .500.
If the Warriors drop each video games, which is conceivable, the problem of a second-half climb to No. 6 requires them to play significantly higher than they did within the first half.
As in 22-13, 9 video games over .500. A 41-31 file may be adequate for the No. 6 seed.
Attending to the No. 4 seed, nonetheless, may require one thing like a 25-10 second half. That may be miraculous.
Contemplate what lies instantly forward: Portland, 5 over .500; Phoenix, 11 over .500; the Clippers, 12 over .500; and the Lakers, 13 over .500. An 0-5 stretch, leaving the Warriors at 19-21 on March 16, could be devastating. Profitable three could be spectacular, two could be passable.
Contemplate that the remainder of the schedule is fairly loaded. Two video games towards the 76ers, one recreation towards the Bucks, journeys to Miami, Toronto and Boston.
Let’s say the Warriors go 7-5 over their 12 remaining video games with Japanese Convention groups. It’s doable, however not if they offer away video games, as they did final month in Orlando and Charlotte.
For the Warriors, one of the best factor in regards to the second-half schedule is 23 video games are towards Western Convention opponents. They’re in place to determine their destiny.
Most of these 23 video games are head-to-head with groups more likely to fall into the 4-10 vary. Three video games towards the Grizzlies, three towards the Pelicans, two every towards the Nuggets and Suns. Another towards the Jazz. The Thunder and the Kings, every of whom the Warriors face twice, are lurking simply outdoors that degree.
Remember the fact that these groups relish possibilities to remind the Warriors they not run the league. That’s notably true of Phoenix and Memphis, but additionally the Nuggets and Pelicans.
It’s going to take about 40 wins to succeed in the No. 6 seed. With Utah and the 2 Los Angeles groups heading in the right direction to win 50 or so video games, attending to No. 4 means excessive mid- to high-40s.
The 6-seed is inside vary, however provided that the Warriors get higher on the street, the place their 7-10 file is Eleventh-best within the West. And even then, they would wish to turn into extra constant at closing out video games.