With just a few games left in the season, the Warriors are in the 6th place, holding it firmly, 1 game ahead of the Rockets. They want to keep the 6th seed because playing San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the playoffs are both undesirable. The Rockets, however, will not go away. They keep gaining games on the Warriors, but the Dubs are able to retaliate each and every time.
With teams like the Jazz and Rockets having tough remaining schedules, the Warriors could finish in the 6th spot, but they’re not completely out of the woods yet.
Just to be certain, Out of the Woods means that they will make the playoffs, not just hold the 6th seed. Well, the Rockets could easily catch up to the Warriors, but that doesn’t matter if the Lakers or the Jazz fail to catchup. Right now, the Jazz are looking to gain a game on the Lakers and pass them for the 8th seed, but the Warriors are 3 games ahead of all that.
The Lakers are going to struggle with injuries to Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, and the Jazz have been struggling as of late. They’re not going to be passing the Warriors anytime soon, but there is still always the possibility that the Warriors lose the rest of their games, while the Jazz win the rest of theirs.
This is obviously unlikely, but the Warriors still can’t slack off. There’s a few things that they need to do in order to secure a playoff spot:
1. Keep Defending:
The Warriors’ defense has been looking really good as of late, and they are now making their playoff push. They’ve held teams to under 80 points, which is really good, but their defense, at best, is inconsistent. They can play defense if they want to, but they don’t always do this. If other teams want to get the Warriors in the playoffs, that’s not a good thing. If they finish the season with good defense, other teams will fear more intimidated. The Clippers already know how the Warriors can play defense..
2. Finish Hot:
Nothing is better than the feeling of going into the playoffs with a 7 game winning streak. The Warriors are no doubt capable of doing this. With a fairly easy schedule left, they will lose some, but they will win majority of them. Going into the playoffs hot will give the Warriors the confidence to win 1/2 of the first road games. When they come home, their crowd will do the rest. They need to stay hot, however, to win at least one road game.
3. Rest Curry/Lee/Thompson:
Even though Curry and Thompson can be inconsistent, the Warriors still rely on them to score most of the points each night. If the Warriors have clinched a spot by the final couple games of the season, they should start guys like Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green to rest their role players. Towards the end of the season, the three main scorers will see decreases in minutes, of course, only after the Warriors clinch a spot.