The Golden State Warriors currently sit in second place in the Western Conference, one game in the loss column behind the Houston Rockets. To grab the first seed heading into the playoffs, the Warriors will need to have a better record than the Rockets: Houston have the tiebreaker due to winning the regular season head-to-head series.
The Warriors have looked mortal this season due to inconsistent focus, defensive intensity, and shooting. But they’re still in a good place to win the conference and head into the playoffs healthy and prepared.
The Warriors have 24 games left of their 82 season, and have the easiest remaining schedule of any team in the West. Their upcoming opponents have a cumulative winning percentage of .463, while the Rockets’ opponents have a winning percentage of .515.
This season will also probably feature one of the most competitive tankathons in recent years. Many teams already out of the playoff hunt will jockey for prime draft positions in a loaded, top-heavy draft class. Out of the 24 games they have left, 9 are against teams that have virtually no chance at the playoffs. The Warriors also have no games left against any of the other top-five teams (the Rockets, Raptors, Cavaliers, or Celtics).
The reality check of being in second place during the All Star Break and some easy games ahead might kick the Warriors into gear. Having home court advantage against the Rockets would be nice in a likely competitive series.