Looking at the Warriors’ Playoff Picture - 5/6/21
The Warriors Return Home for Final Regular Season Homestand, Race for Play-In Tournament Positioning Heats Up
There is a week and half left of the regular season and the Warriors sit in 9th place in the Western Conference. In the midst of a tight race for playoff positioning, the Dubs return home to Chase Center to play their final six games, the longest homestand to end a season in the franchise’s 75-year history.
Dub Nation, welcome to the home stretch.
All six of the Warriors’ upcoming games are against Western Conference foes. In this next week, the squad will face the Oklahoma City Thunder twice, followed by games against two of the top contenders in the conference in the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.
And all of these games that will be critical to the Warriors’ playoff positioning will be played in front of the ever loyal Dub Nation.
What’s Up Around the Dubs
As a reminder: the 7th through 10th seeds of the West make it into the NBA Play-In Tournament, with the top two of those seeds needing just one win to move into the NBA Playoffs and the lower two needing two victories to advance.
After going 2-2 on their final road trip of the regular season, the Warriors occupy the #9 spot. Their next four games, starting with Thursday’s contest when the squad returns home to Chase Center, will serve as a challenging test though. After hosting two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder (21-45) Thursday and Saturday, the Dubs have a back-to-back against the top two seeds in the West in the Utah Jazz (48-18) and Phoenix Suns (47-19).
But the Warriors sit in prime position to make a move into the safety of #8, sitting just a half game behind the Memphis Grizzlies. That team has struggled of late, winning just two of their last eight games. One of those victories came on Wednesday when they narrowly escaped with a 138-132 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The San Antonio Spurs had previously been sitting in lock-step with the Dubs for the last few weeks, either remaining tied or half game off from the Warriors. But following Wednesday’s 126-94 loss to the Jazz, the Spurs have lost five straight and are now 1.5 games behind the Warriors.
Keep your eyes ahead and on the prize, Dub Nation. The #8 spot is more than attainable for the Warriors, especially with fans on their side as the Dubs play their final regular season games at Chase Center.
San Antonio Spurs
Strength of Schedule Remaining: .610, 2nd in NBA
Key Games: at POR (May 8)
The Spurs play the Sacramento Kings (29-37) as the first half of a back-to-back this Friday, and after that it is nothing but top teams and playoff contenders for their remaining six games. This week, they wrap up the two-game road set Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers who are fighting to potentially move out of the Play-In tournament and into the #6 spot and an automatic bid in the NBA Playoffs, followed by two tops teams from the Eastern Conference in the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets.
Strength of Schedule Remaining: .443, 24th in NBA
Key Games: vs NOP (May 10), vs DAL (May 11), at GSW (May 16)
Memphis tips off their week with two bouts against the Detroit Pistons (19-47) and Toronto Raptors (27-39). But then, all eyes will be on the Grizzlies’ home back-to-back against the Pelicans and Mavericks May 10-11. New Orleans is continuing to make a push for the 10th spot in the West after defeating the Warriors on Tuesday, while Dallas sits in a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers and both are just a half game ahead of the Trail Blazers. These two games will play an enormous role in playoff seeding.
Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers
Key Games: POR vs LAL (May 7), DAL at MEM (May 11)
Mathematically, the #7 seed is still in play for the Warriors, too. However, there is a three-way dogfight for for the 5th through 7th seeds between the Blazers, Mavericks and Lakers with just a half a game separating all three. Friday’s matchup between the Trail Blazers and Lakers has become a factor in determining which team falls out of a guaranteed playoff berth and into the Play-In Tournament. Meanwhile, the Mavericks face three Eastern Conference opponents before the critical May 11th game against the Grizzlies. If any of these teams tumble this week, the Warriors will be in the race for the top of the Play-In Tournament.
In summary: there is a lot to keep you eyes on this week, Dub Nation. While the Warriors ultimately hold their destiny in their own hands, the Western Conference could open a door to the coveted 7th and 8th seeds for the squad.
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