Well, this is it - an end to one of the weirder NBA seasons in my memory. As advertised, threepeats are hard. Though the Golden State Warriors feature what may well be the most talented starting five in league history, they’ve looked shaky at times throughout the season. But any concerns should be taken in context of what this team managed to accomplish, even while riding out the various vicissitudes. Amidst a historic recent run, the Warriors (once again) finish out the season holding the top seed in the West - and are once again the team to beat as they enter the playoffs as major favorites to win it all.
The Playoff seeding is still up in the air
Not for the Warriors of course, as you’ve heard by now, they locked up the top spot in the playoffs a few games back. Of course, that would change if they face the Toronto Raptors or Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals, but that’s getting a little too far ahead.
Before any concerns about the Finals, it behooves us to take a look at the playoff seeding in the first round - which is still undecided as we head into tonight’s slate of games. Though the Warriors don’t particularly care about a win or a loss tonight, take a look at how this evening could shake out.
Here’s the best summary of all the various permutations that I could find:
With OKC beating HOU tonight, there are only 8 remaining possibilities for 6th, 7th and 8th seed.— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) April 10, 2019
5 of those end up w/ LAC #8 (4x where LAC loses or if all 3 teams win).
2 of those end up w/ SAS #8 (SAS loses).
1 of those ends up w/ OKC #8: LAC & SAS win + OKC loses to MIL.
So it looks like our most likely opponent would be the Los Angeles Clippers. According to what I’ve read, this would be the preference from many people within the organization - mostly due to the close proximity of these teams and what that would mean for travel time.
Anthony Slater spells out the specifics of how all these permutations actually shake out, if you’re interested in the minutiae, but here’s the low down on how each of these scenarios could play out.
#Warriors play LAC in R1 if:— John Dickinson (@JDJohnDickinson) April 10, 2019
— LAC loses
— SA & OKC win
— SA, OKC and LAC all lose
GSW plays Spurs in R1 if:
— SA loses & LAC wins
GSW plays OKC in R1 if:
— SA wins, OKC loses & LAC wins
Resting up for the playoffs, and reflecting on the season
So, we will for sure not see Stephen Curry, but the team has been relatively tight-lipped on how extensive the rest patter will be tonight, otherwise. Klay Thompson, pulled from last night’s game at the last minute due to a sore knee may take another one off. With the Playoffs likely starting on Saturday for the Warriors that would mean nearly a week off for Thompson (if he does indeed sit out).
Oh, hold on! Late addition to the preview - pretty much everyone is sitting:
Listed as out for the Warriors tonight in Memphis: Steph Curry, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Shaun Livingston.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 10, 2019
Listed as questionable: Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson.
In other news, be sure to waive this graphic in front of everyone’s faces whenever they talk about the Warriors having a “down year” - the Hamptons Five is back to being the best 5-man unit in the league, objectively:
Hamptons 5 now indisputably the best lineup this season :/ pic.twitter.com/irtsTpsss1— Nathan Walker (@bbstats) April 10, 2019
WHO: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
WHEN: Wednesday, April 10; 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
RADIO: 95.7 The Game