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Preview/Gamethread: Golden State Warriors at Portland Trailblazers. The only game left that (kinda) matters, so let's make the most of it, shall we?

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors (49-30) at Portland Trailblazers (52-28)
TV: CSN Bay Area / Radio: KNBR
Arena: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Tip-Off: 6pm PT
Blog Buddy:

I'm betting that all of you smart, talented, and handsome (or pretty, if you prefer) Warriors fanatics are already aware of the situation, but let's go over it once more JUST in case there's a test at the end.

The Warriors are 49-30, three games remaining, sitting in the sixth seed. The Portland Trailblazers are 52-28, currently fifth in the west with two left on the season, including tonight's contest. The Dubs are 2-1 against the Blazers in the season head to head.

So then, math: if the Warriors win the next three, and the Blazers lose the next two, both teams finish at 52-30, and GSW steals the seed by virtue of owning the tie breaker. That would mean a first-round matchup against the Houston Rockets. It would also mean that there's something for which to yet play.

Here are the other possible playoff permutations for the Warriors (unless I've missed a scenario or two — please correct me if so):

Warriors win three, Blazers lose two: GSW vs. HOU

Warriors lose three, Dallas wins one, Memphis loses one+: GSW vs. OKC

Warriors lose three, Dallas wins one, Memphis wins three: GSW vs. SAS

Warriors lose three, Dallas loses one, Memphis loses one+: GSW vs. LAC

Warriors win one+, Blazers win one+, plus whatever else: GSW vs. LAC

The overwhelmingly likely outcome is a first-round matchup against the Clippers. There's still a possibility that this accursed team finds a way to screw up that likelihood and end up playing the Thunder, but even the Warriors might be hard pressed to stumble into that one.

A guaranteed way to avoid taking that dramatic of a stumble would be a win over the Blazers tonight. Portland's not likely to roll over: they themselves still have a shot to improve their first-round scenario — two wins for POR and two losses for HOU would cause them to flip home-court advantage. Houston has a game left versus San Antonio, and a final roadie at New Orleans.

And this isn't a great time to face the Blazers anyway: they've won seven of their last eight, holding all eight opponents to under 43% shooting. None of those opponents have featured one Wardell Stephen Curry II, of course — he who is so proficient at exposing Portland's perimeter defenders.

Will he get enough playing time to do so? Jackson was stingy with starter minutes against the Denver Nuggets, and it cost them. He's likely to be even more stingy now that the clinch has occurred, and perhaps rightfully so, but they still need to win a game to guarantee their current seed, and a win against Portland is the only one that gives them a chance to gain any other advantage.

In other words, this is the biggest game remaining this season! Let's finish this thing off with a boom.

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