Blogtable: Should top seeds in West be nervous about lurking Warriors?
Our scribes chime in on the Warriors' playoff chances against the West's top seeds.
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If you’re among the top seeds in the West, are you nervous about the Warriors lurking around down there in play-in territory?
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Steve Aschburner: Yes and no. You’d be making a grave mistake to your playoff well-being if you didn’t take seriously Steph Curry and the pinball numbers he can post in a single quarter or half, enough to win a game or three in a seven-game series. But I think Golden State’s Hamlet act — to be or not to be a playoff team — has dragged on too long. The Warriors have been trying to find their postseason pedigree gear and step on the gas for weeks now, and it’s gone about as well as your 16-year-old kid trying to learn a stick shift. I’m also taking Draymond Green’s word for it that his team might not be able to muster much excitement over a play-in spot, after that 2015-2019 run of dominance.
Shaun Powell: Any team with Steph Curry is always a threat, yet there’s something haywire with the Warriors here in this bridge year. They can be clunky at times, Draymond Green has retired his jumper perhaps for good, and the rest of the roster is so unpredictable. The good news for those teams who nervously view the Warriors is Klay Thompson isn’t walking through that door.
John Schuhmann: Not really. Defending Stephen Curry (on and off the ball) is a pain in the butt, so it would certainly be a tough series for the player — Mike Conley or Mikal Bridges — given that assignment. But every playoff team is going to have some aspect of its offense that you need to prioritize. And if you can neutralize Curry to a certain degree, you’re in good shape, because the rest of the Golden State offense is not good.
Michael C. Wright: Not really because as brilliantly as Stephen Curry has performed this month, averaging 39.5 points in six games so far, the Warriors have no margin for error as these games start to get tighter, especially in a postseason scenario. Truth be told, there’s still plenty of time for the Warriors to catch up to the teams ahead of them in the conference standings. So, a postseason berth isn’t far-fetched. But does anyone really think Curry — as good as he is — can beat the top-seeded Jazz in a first-round series all alone (with Draymond Green’s help on the defensive end, of course) if somehow the Warriors finished the regular season as the eighth seed? The teams that need to be worried about Golden State are grouped right there with the Warriors in the conference standings for the play-in tournament. The Warriors could realistically knock off any of the teams sitting at seventh through 11th in a play-in situation, but in a postseason series where teams extensively game plan for opponents, that’s more unlikely given Golden State’s overall talent deficiencies compared to the rest of the squads competing for the top seed in the West.