On Wednesday, a starting five of Warriors bloggers weighed in on what single factor would have the greatest impact on Warriors success this season. That was one of six questions posed by the warriors.com staff to bloggers Ben Cruz (Warriors World), Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Bleacher Report), Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind), Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy) and Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break), and their answers to each of those will be unveiled one day at a time. Today, we’re talking playoffs. Playoffs?. Yes, playoffs, even if it is still October …
Ben Cruz | Warriors World | @cruzkontrol
It's going to take about 48 wins to get the Warriors into the playoffs. As we all know, the Western Conference is as stacked as ever and there's one to two spots available once it's all said and done so they're going to need to do more than just float above .500. Assuming good health from everyone, the Warriors should be able to sneak into the playoffs this season and take advantage of the early injuries to their Western foes over in Dallas and Minnesota.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Bleacher Report | @SherwoodStrauss
44 wins is my 8th seed number. The Warriors will get there (if healthy, if healthy, if healthy) because the roster is balanced and deep outside of the center position. Deep teams tend to rack up regular season wins.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
Without analyzing the entire season schedule, what we can do is assume the following in the top-heavy West: Either OKC or LAL will get the #1 spot. I can't fathom LAC, SAS, or MEM dropping off that far, and you figure DAL will definitely be in the top six. So there's six of the eight playoff teams right there. Most pundits might have UTA or DEN occupying the last two spots, with perhaps MIN in the hunt, so you figure those are the teams that the Warriors have to put a bullseye on the back of. The Warriors absolutely MUST take care of business against the likes of SAC, PHX, POR, NOH, and HOU. Two years ago in the last 82-game regular season, the Rockets were the #8 seed at 43-39. That seems to be the norm every year in the tough West, so I think you'd have to assume the Warriors need to win at least 43 games to get into the playoffs. That's sort of the "market comparable" approach to this. They'll need a little luck too in terms of avoiding injuries and maybe other teams will suffer some sort of major injury catastrophe.
Ironically, despite Mark Jackson not making any proclamations, I think we are stuck in the quandry that, if the Warriors don't make the playoffs, it will be a failure of a season. Yet, that's the very reason why fans booed Joe Lacob. Fans have been getting comfortable always being in the hunt for the #8 seed. That's sure better than the Cohan era when the Warriors were simply doormats. Warrior fans didn't want to lose that, even though merely vying for the 8th and last spot isn't an impressive feat when you ask the remaining 29 teams. If we don't get the #8 seed convincingly, then the bottom line is, we haven't improved our expectations all that much than during the Monta era and before. That's the proverbial elephant in the room.
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
Utah was the No. 8 seed last year, and with their winning percentage they would've won 45 games over an 82-game season. That sounds about right this year. Can the Warriors win 45 games? They have enough talent to make the playoffs if everything goes right, but that's an exceedingly tough assumption to make with the health concerns they're already facing. While the Warriors will finish higher than 13th in the Western Conference, they will not make the playoffs.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Purely a guess, but I'd say 46 or 47 wins should get a team into the playoffs. I think the Warriors – assuming they're healthy and Mark Jackson grows into his coaching role – should clear that bar with a little room to spare. I'm on record calling for the 7th spot in the West and 49 wins. That's an ambitious goal, but this team is so much more talented than ones we've seen in past years. We should start expecting more from them.
Thanks for reading, and if you missed Wednesday’s conversation, click here. We’ll be back Friday discussing who should start at small forward for the Warriors.
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