With the five game home stand coming up for the Warriors, they have to really capitalize and take advantage. They’ve been given a golden opportunity to close out the playoff race at home, putting some distance between them and the Rockets or Lakers. If there is a possibility of clinching, this is the most important stretch of games of the season for the Warriors.
Starting tomorrow against Washington, a winnable game, the home stand will feature teams that aren’t the best, but aren’t the worst either. The Dubs often lose to teams that aren’t very good, and have a history of being upset at home. They cannot let opportunities fall from their hands again, and I’m sure that they know this. If Mark Jackson has taught them anything, it’s that they cannot give up.
This five game home stand will feature teams like the Wizards, the Lakers (uh oh), the Kings, the Blazers, and the Hornets. The Warriors need to go at least 4-1 in this home stand, with the exception of the Lakers. Of course, it would be nice to beat them, but considering that the Warriors cannot get over the mental hurtle, it may be tough. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant are back in the lineup, and are looking to do their usual damage against the Warriors.
As for the other games, the Warriors usually beat these teams at home. The Warriors lost to the Kings twice in Sacramento, but beat them earlier this year at Oracle. The Blazers are a promising team, but they fell short of a comeback bid against the Warriors early this season, and have been struggling to make a playoff push this season. The Hornets are another young team, but the Warriors have handled them twice in New Orleans and once at Oracle. There should be no conflict with the Wizards, but then again, there is no such thing as a guaranteed win.
The Warriors likely understand that this may be their easiest stretch of the season, but they cannot slack off. When they want to be, they can be a fairly good defensive team. They held the Rockets, the highest scoring team in the league to a mere 78 points. If the Warriors play that type of defense against all of these teams, they will likely push into the 98% area of probability to make the playoffs. Or, they may even clinch.