Apr 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers forwards Pau Gasol (16) and Metta World Peace (15) and guard Kobe Bryant (24) at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Warriors 112-120. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors: Best and Worst Case Playoff Scenarios

The Warriors are almost a guarantee for the playoffs. Knocking on wood, they’re going to end up fifth or sixth place and have to play a higher seed.

Nevertheless, the time for rebuilding is over, and Warriors’ basketball can finally start. Which teams would the Warriors love to see in the playoffs, hate to see in the playoffs, and despise to see in the playoffs. There’s many foes, and little friends in the NBA playoffs, a whole different atmosphere.

Best Case:

1. Los Angeles Clippers: This one is obvious. The Warriors have beaten the Clippers 3/4 times this season, and they were all with a healthy Chris Paul. Once in LA, and twice in Oakland. That’s all the Warriors need, however. If they are able to pull off one road win and win the rest at home, they will surely win the series. If the Clippers stay at third, and the Warriors stay at sixth, this could be very likely. Since these teams are rivals, then it’ll be a very heated series.

2. Memphis Grizzlies: I know what you’re thinking, how can the Warriors beat Memphis in the playoffs if they’ve already been swept by them this season? Yes, that’s a valid inquisition. The Warriors, however, only lost by six points in Memphis, and that’s because they dug a whole for themselves. When/if the Warriors meet this Grizzly team in the playoffs, they’ll be more energized, have more depth, and a healthier Andrew Bogut.

Worst Case:

1. Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets, now rolling, are well on their way to becoming the fourth seed, maybe third, and staying there. The Warriors, unfortunately, are on the decline as of now. They’ll win some more games soon, but it doesn’t look like they’ll finish before the sixth spot in the West. The Warriors beat the Nuggets once this season, but just barely.

Other than that, the Nuggets have been clutch, and strong. It might even be a sweep if the Warriors met them, as they always lose in Denver. And in Oracle, when it looked like the Warriors had put away Denver, the game went to a second OT, and the Nuggets pulled off a victory.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder have beaten the Warriors twice in Oklahoma City, both by more than 10 points, and lost once in Oracle. They only lost by 6 points, however. The Thunder are likely the team headed to the NBA Finals to meet up with the Heat again. The Warriors wouldn’t stand a chance against Kevin Durant in the playoffs.

Despite David Lee being an All-Star, the Warriors don’t quite have a go-to guy that has playoff experience. A bit of advice, Mark Jackson: Andris Biedrins won’t be coming up clutch. Some may argue that the brilliance that Richard Jefferson has provided in the past could resurface, but that is very unlikely.

3. San Antonio Spurs: What can I say? The Spurs are such a good and experienced team that they almost forget how to lose. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are two superstars that are never going to be washed up. Even though the Warriors are full of young energy, the Spurs never fail to impress.

The Spurs, while deadly in the regular season, haven’t really had the chance to contend in recent history and aren’t Western Conference Title favorites, but the Warriors would be unlucky to have them in the playoffs, as they would receive the home-court advantage. The AT&T center is an arena the Warriors haven’t been victorious in for 27 games.

4. Los Angeles Lakers: Wouldn’t it be crazy? The Lakers are likely going to steal that last playoff spot away from either the Jazz or the Rockets, and they’re advancing pretty quickly. The Black Mamba has his team on a roll, despite a loss to the Heat yesterday. If the Lakers somehow meet the Warriors in the playoffs, they would almost advance for sure.

With the Lakers, the Warriors face more of a mental challenge. They simply cannot beat them.

Tags: Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers Memphis Grizzlies Oklahoma City Thnder San Antonio Spurs

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