The 2020-21 NBA season is at home and the Warriors still seem locked in the Western Conference game tournament. But now Golden State has the upper hand when it comes to making number 7 / No. An 8-seed game that would put the team in a double elimination situation instead of a single elimination with No. 9 / No. Game 10 seeds.
The Warriors have been hovering close to the .500 mark for the past three weeks and are now 34-33 after Thursday’s solid 118-97 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. They overtook the Memphis Grizzlies (33-33) with half a game for No. 8 in the conference after Gris lost a 111-97 road game to low Detroit Pistons hours earlier.
With five games left for the Warriors and six games left for the Grizzlies, you can count on the Warriors to do a little scoring.
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Mathematically, No. 5 Dallas Mavericks (38-28), No. 6 Los Angeles Lakers (37-29) and No. 7 Portland Trail Blazers (37-29) are still in range. Securing number 6 to avoid the game tournament would be ideal, but don’t hold your breath if you’re a Warriors fan. The same goes for the other three teams, who would prefer to rest and play a series of seven games instead of a tournament.
The Warriors are short-legged without James Wiseman, and Eric Paschal’s return schedule is still uncertain, but they hope Kelly Aubrey Jr. (left wrist avulsion fracture and tendon rupture) will return in time for the run. after the season.
But once the Warriors come in, who will want to face Playoff Steph? Especially if he beats Bradley Beale to be the top scorer in the NBA 2020-21 and has a chance for a fourth championship – albeit as slim. Like Draymond Green, who always seems to be stepping up his game this season.
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On the other hand, the four teams that follow the Warriors in the standings are still at a mathematically striking distance: №9 Grizzlies, №10 San Antonio Spurs (31-34), №11 New Orleans Pelicans (30-36) and No. 12 Kings (29-37).
While the Kings and Pelicans are behind the eight balls and are likely to be eliminated, the Warriors are more concerned about staying at number 7 / №. 8 games so far. The dream would be to slip in as number 6 at this point, but it seems unlikely.
Thursday’s win was a solid way to start the season-ending six-game home tournament, which continues on Saturday with a new game against Thunder. Then the Warriors will host the best two teams in the West, Utah Jazz (48-18) and Phoenix Suns (47-19).
The intensity is about to increase at Chase Center.
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