Looking at the Warriors’ Playoff Picture - 4/21/21
This Week’s NBA Games Will Have a Big Impact on the Dubs, Currently in 9th Place
Though the team suffered a loss Wednesday night to the Washington Wizards, it was still a positive week for the Warriors as the squad finished their road trip with a 3-2 record. The club has gone 5-2 in their last seven games as they tip off a homestand Friday against the Denver Nuggets. Dub Nation better be ready to cheer them on too: starting with that game, the Warriors are set to host fans at Chase Center for every home game through the remainder of the season.
Following Wednesday’s slate of games, it remains an incredibly tight race between the four teams in the West’s Play-In Tournament seeds. The Warriors sit in a tie for #9 with the San Antonio Spurs, while the #8 Memphis Grizzlies remain just one game ahead of both clubs.
The No. 7 Dallas Mavericks have had a comfortable lead over that grouping of teams, but recent events around them and the #6 Portland Trail Blazers have also made things interesting around the top spot for the Play-In Tournament and will have an impact on the Warriors.
As a reminder to Dub Nation: the first through sixth place teams are guaranteed a spot in the NBA Playoffs, while the seventh through 10th place teams make the Play-In Tournament. The seventh and eighth place teams need only to win one game in the play-in tournament to advance into the postseason while the ninth and 10th place squads will need to win twice in the play-in tournament to earn a playoff berth.
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Get ready for the final month of the season, fans! It’s going to be a wild ride.
On the Horizon for the Dubs
In addition to Friday starting a home-heavy stretch to close the season, it will mark the start of crunch time for another reason: all of the team’s remaining 13 games of the regular season will be against Western Conference opponents, meaning games will carry extra impact on playoff seedings.
Following Friday’s game against the Nuggets, the Dubs will then host the Dallas Mavericks, who sit in that #7 spot three games ahead of the Warriors. The winner in that contest will swing the difference between the two teams by a whole game with either Dallas gaining an extra game on Golden State, or the Warriors moving into a tight race for the top play-in spot.
The Warriors also face three sub-.500 opponents in the coming week. This is a beneficial schedule that can help generate distance from the Spurs, while making moves on the teams ahead in the standings.
Wild, Wild West
You do not need to look far for matchups that will have implications on just how high the Dubs can set their sights in the Western Conference. Three games between two teams will carry a lot of weight in determining what happens in the sixth, seventh and eighth spots.
Dallas Mavericks & Portland Trail Blazers
Dallas has had a secure hold for that seventh spot for a while, but after the #6 Portland Trail Blazers lost their last three contests, just a half a game separates those two teams. This has become significant for the Warriors and Dub Nation. The Mavericks have the fourth easiest strength of schedule remaining, so moving past Dallas may have been a tall task. But now watching the Trail Blazers becomes of interest as they not only have one of the more difficult schedules remaining, they play the #8 Grizzlies three times in the next week.
If having to face the Trail Blazers three times in a week wasn’t hard enough, the Grizzlies also have a tilt against the Denver Nuggets coming on Monday night. A back-to-back against the Orlando Magic is set for the following weekend too, giving Memphis two such sets in a span of seven days.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs’ week will get tougher as it goes. They start with the Detroit Pistons, sitting at the bottom of the East, then face the New Orleans Pelicans who still have a shot at the West’s Play-In Tournament. They then go on to play a surging Wizards team, followed by the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics who are also dueling between the East’s #6 and #7 spots.
Stay on alert, Dub Nation. While the Warriors hold their fate in their hands, the slate of games for the West will play a significant role in how high the Dubs can aim in their playoff push. To join in the action, buy tickets here and get to know the Fan Safety Guide as you prepare to cheer on the team for their remaining home games at Chase Center.
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