We have reached the end of the regular season and for the first time in six years, the Warriors are heading to the NBA Playoffs. Before the team gets there, however, they have to figure out who, when and where they will play, and that will be determined based on what happens tonight in several NBA games (for a look at all of the Warriors playoff scenarios, click here). But that brings up a question, and it’s one that we ask to tip off another edition of the Bloggers Roundtable, featuring Ethan Sherwood Strauss (WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com), Ben Cruz (Bleacher Report), Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break) Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) and Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy).
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com | @SherwoodStrauss
Oh, the Warriors certainly should. A seventh seed finish means they'd face the Spurs, a team that erases a key Golden State strength. Gregg Popovich's crew allows the fourth fewest three-point attempts, which bodes poorly for a GSW team so reliant on the three ball. Don't be fooled by the win over San Antonio's backups. A shot at the Nuggets or Clippers is much preferred. It's even worth risking a possible series against the Grizzlies, another team that won't let Golden State shoot threes.
Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
The Warriors have a tall task ahead of them no matter if they land the sixth or seventh seed in the Western Conference. With the Denver Nuggets or San Antonio Spurs slated as their first-round matchup, Golden State is going to have to hope that the 2007 "We Believe" team didn't use up all of the magic for the franchise.
That being said, the Warriors need to do everything they can to lock up the sixth seed to face off against the Nuggets. Denver is the better matchup purely based on the fact that they aren't the Spurs. Playing San Antonio would be an absolute nightmare for the Warriors given the championship pedigree and scarily efficient way they execute every aspect of their game plan.
Oh, and not to mention that the Warriors haven't won in San Antonio in 16 years.
Denver isn't a walk in the park by any means, but they're entering the postseason a little banged up having lost Danilo Gallinari for the season and Kenneth Faried is dealing with a sprained ankle. Those are two of the players who have been the biggest thorns in Golden State's side whenever the two sides have matched up so if the Warriors can take advantage of their absence, then they absolutely have a shot of pulling off an upset and moving on to the second round.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Absolutely. You should always be careful what you wish for, because George Karl has the Nuggets playing terrific basketball, but the alternative is Gregg Popovich and what should be a well-rested Spurs team. The Warriors would need to win at least one game in San Antonio to take the series and they haven't managed that since I was in high school (Feb. 14, 1997, to be exact). I also like the dynamic of playing an opponent that hasn't seen much of the Warriors since early in the season (three of their meetings were in the first month) and is struggling with injury issues. There are no easy match-ups in the West, but I have the easiest time visualizing the Warriors beating the Nuggets in the first round.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
Absolutely. Even if Kenneth Faried hadn't sustained an ankle injury, I'd hesitate to say that the unproven Nuggets could be classified as part of The Association's "elite". On the other hand, there's no question that the Spurs and Thunder are elite teams, by virtue of mostly experience/execution and talent, respectively. That is to say, there's a distinct step down as you progress from #2 to #3. Now, couple that with Faried not being 100%, on paper the Warriors have the best chance to advance in the playoffs against the Nuggets as opposed to the Spurs. Locking in the 6th seed is critical.
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
Absolutely, as the San Antonio Spurs would provide a more difficult playoff matchup than the Denver Nuggets. Both teams are dealing with nagging injuries to key players, as Manu Ginobili is nursing a sore hamstring and Kenneth Faried recently sprained his left ankle, but only the Nuggets have lost one of their stars for good (Danilo Gallinari, out with an ACL tear). The Nuggets were one of the NBA's best teams in the second half and are very difficult to play in Denver. However, their lack of relative playoff experience, coupled with their penchant for playing at a quicker pace, would make them easier to handle than a big, experienced team like San Antonio.
Stay tuned for more from this 'Bloggers Roundtable,' as the group will discuss topics throughout the postseason. Thursday, the fellas will address the Warriors' biggest wins of the season and pinpoint who just might be in line for a breakout performance in the playoffs.