Warriors aiming for middle of the West, setting up potential Kings series
NorCal hasn't had this in my lifetime
The Golden State Warriors have just five games left in the regular season, making tonight’s match against the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs hugely important in the crowded playoff chase out West. Things seem to be coming together for a team that has spent most of their season looking wonky and out of sorts. With the core playing better than they have all season, and numerous guys around the edges starting to figure it out, the Warriors are poised to shock the world one more time.
There are no surprises on the injury report for the Warriors tonight, which is good news and bad, as I keep hoping to see Andrew Wiggins’ name pop up. I miss him.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (40-37) vs. San Antonio Spurs (19-57)
WHEN: Friday, March 31st, 2022 // 7pm PST
The playoff race is shaping up: it’s a confusing mess!
This playoff battle will come down to the wire, but at least we are starting to get some clarity. For Golden State, the odds are pointing somewhere around the 5th or 6th seed - which isn’t exactly ideal, but it’s doable. Get this squad into the playoffs and roll the dice on ‘em. This team has had their share of ups and downs, so it has been clear for a while that the season would come down to the wire. Here comes the wire. Check out the team’s final handful of games.
The Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings have secured their playoff berths. Congratulations to Sacramento!
But for the defending champs, there is still an entire spectrum of outcomes. Even so, the odds indicate that the Warriors should finish somewhere around 6th - which would be enough to avoid the uncertainty of a do-or-die game in the play-in tournament.
As it stands, that would set the Warriors up for an extremely entertaining series against the Sacramento Kings, who have finally broken the longest playoff drought in the NBA by securing the 3rd seed. The odds indicate that Golden State’s most likely outcomes at this point are either the 6th seed (35% odds) or the 5th (32% ). But with the teams so tightly packed in the middle of the Western Conference, the final tournament tree won’t be determined until the final day of the regular season.
Heck, get lucky and there’s even a 7.2% chance that Golden State could secure the 4th spot (don’t hold your breath):
By the time you read this, the information above is probably going to be slightly out of date. These last games don’t necessarily matter any more than those random games in February, but it sure does feel like it.
If this all shakes out according to the odds, it would mean a first round series between the Warriors and Sacramento Kings - something that has never been even remotely close in my lifetime. Draymond Green stirred the pot a bit earlier when he said he’d like to face the Kings in the first round because of the ease of travel, but it could mean so much more.
For most of my life, the Warriors sucked. Badly. Sure there was a little flash in the Run TMC pan, and then a glimpse of what could have been with Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson, then again a single year of We Believing; but the overall vibe was definitely loserville.
Sacramento, being the closest team - and the one that got Chris Webber and Mitch Richmond - was a natural second team to root for. Later on in life one of my favorite coworkers of all time was a huge die hard Kings fan. I remember talking to him about how both of our teams sucked, and then blissfully watching the Warriors transform into a dynasty. Back in the day, another coworker and I would stand in front of this poor dude’s office and wax poetic about what a huge bargain Kevon Looney is. And now any potential irony is totally dead.
I’ve since moved on, and everyone went remote with the pandemic, but I think a lot about that Kings fan. Watching your team suddenly gel and turn into something is pretty cool. But the second step is getting past the old teams with proven winning backgrounds.
It’s funny that the Warriors are playing the Spurs tonight - another dynasty of yore. Maybe that’s what took me into a Sacramento tangent, but the point is that Golden State isn’t assured of anything, a slide in the wrong direction now could still derail it all.
Warriors need the win, they get the win. It’s tuneup time, and these are the defending champs.
Happy Friday everyone! It’s time to wrap up the final details for the week and breeze into the weekend. Man, I sure do love a good Friday.
For today’s music, we are going with Decent Criminal’s new release. One of the coolest bands around right now, I love their blend of 90’s grunge with a modern punk aesthetic.
It’s brand new, so there’s no pretty YouTube thumbnail or anything, you’ll have to go check it out here.
A little post-game space for you to stretch out a bit
Suns beat the Nuggets 100-93. Suns move to 42-35 while the Nuggets fall to 51-26.