We’re one day closer to the end of the 2022-23 NBA regular season, which wraps up on Sunday. The Golden State Warriors didn’t play yesterday, but they still fell a spot in the standings, which was guaranteed regardless of what happened in the rest of the league’s games.
So let’s look at where things are now. The Warriors can still finish as high as the fifth seed, or as low as the ninth seed.
No. 5 — Los Angeles Clippers (42-38)
With a win over their fellow LA team on Wednesday, the Clippers swapped places in the standings with the Warriors. The team’s have the same record, but LA has the tiebreaker. If they win their final two games, they’ll be the fifth seed. If they lose a game, it opens the door for the Warriors. Their final games are Saturday at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, and Sunday on the road against the Phoenix Suns.
No. 6 — Golden State Warriors (42-38)
The sixth seed definitely feels like the most likely destination for the Dubs, and they’ll be happy with that. If they can avoid the play-in tournament that would be wonderful, and it would set up a likely date with the Sacramento Kings ... which is probably preferable to facing the Suns, which the Warriors would do if they moved up a seed.
No. 7 — Los Angeles Lakers (41-39)
The Lakers lost to the Clippers on Wednesday, which kept them in the play-in tournament (they would have moved up to the fifth seed if they had won). The Lakers are keeping the pressure on Golden State because they own the tiebreaker. If the Dubs split their final two games, Los Angeles could surpass them by winning their final two. They’re at home the rest of the way: Friday against the Suns and Sunday against the Utah Jazz.
No. 8 — New Orleans Pelicans (41-39)
NOLA eked out an important overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. Like the Lakers, New Orleans can only catch up to the Warriors if Golden State slips up. If the Warriors go 1-1, the Pelicans can catch up by going 2-0. If the Dubs lose out, New Orleans can split their games. Any scenario that leaves the Warriors and Pelicans tied will result in NOLA winning the tiebreaker. Their final two games are home against the New York Knicks on Friday, and on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
No. 9 — Minnesota Timberwolves (40-40)
The situation between the Warriors and Wolves is simple: if Golden State wins another game, they’ll finish ahead of Minny. If Minnesota loses a game, the Dubs will finish ahead. The Wolves need to win out and have the Warriors lose out. Minnesota finishes with a road game on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs, and a home game against the Pelicans on Sunday.
So in summation ... there’s still so much we don’t know, but if you had to bet money on where the Warriors will end up, the sixth seed is most likely.