SAN FRANCISCO – And then there were five, all without Steph Curry. This is the path that awaits the Warriors to close the regular season, while the Western Conference standings continue to strengthen for the Golden State and several other teams.
Curry on Friday was ruled out until the end of the regular season due to a sprained left leg ligament. He hasn’t played since March 16, and the Warriors have gone 1-6 since his release, including losing the last four in a row. For the season they have 3-10 without their superstar playmakers.
The Warriors (48-29) received serious help from the Washington Wizards on Friday when they beat the Dallas Mavericks (48-30), bringing the Golden State back to 3rd place in the Western Conference. Saturday night against the Utah Jazz (46-31), currently ranked No. 5, is the best team the Warriors will face before the playoffs, and they are also their most auspicious match among the teams. which they are likely to see in the first round.
In addition to jazz, the Warriors still have meetings with the Kings (29-49), the Los Angeles Lakers (31-46), the San Antonio Spurs (32-45) and the New Orleans Pelicans. (34-43). It’s not exactly the cream of the NBA’s harvest this season. This season, the Warriors lost to the Jazz 2-1, the Kings 3-0, the Lakers 2-1, Greg Popovich and the annoying Spurs 1-2, and the Pelicans 1 -1.
Despite the insufficient record of the aforementioned teams, all four are still looking at a game tournament or better, and then Jazz, of course, is also looking to rise in the standings. The Warriors are only two and a half games ahead of the Denver Nuggets, who are number 6, and this is the limit to avoid the game tournament, the destination that the Warriors were ahead of last season.
“We’re looking for the most seed,” Steve Kerr told reporters Friday. “We’re trying to win every game, not at the expense of health. As for what you have to play with someone. If we could say goodbye in the first round, I would be very worried. But that’s not it. We’ll play in someone.
“The main thing is to be as healthy as possible and to be in a good space, mentally, spiritually, physically, to be in the first round match – no matter who we play with.”
Kerr recently admitted that he checks the results in the league and stays up to date in the standings, like all of us. Who can blame him? This is human nature in its simplest form in sport.
Warriors Center Kevon Looney, however, says the standings and seed are not even mentioned among the players. Not at all.
“It wasn’t hard for us at all,” Looney said when asked not to look at the scoreboard. “We slipped down, so we just need to focus on ourselves and get back to our paths. That was what we focused on. When we go down, so much changes from day to day. We’re all so close.
“We didn’t talk about it and we didn’t focus on it. I don’t know if it’s the coaches or the front office, but as players, we’re just trying to figure out how we can win – especially with Steph coming out.”
Looney continued to insist that the Warriors felt they could play against anyone and defeat anyone. This feeling is only amplified at full strength and with the head of a snake.
The five Voyors opponents for the most part look somewhat favorable. However, in general the schedule is not like that. Golden State faced an absurd amount to each other at the end of the season, and before that two more. That means more rest for some key players, even in games that could determine the Warriors ’path to the playoffs.
Clay Thompson did not play in both games at the same time after returning in early January. Otto Porter Jr. for the most part was not a veteran with a history of injuries. Draymand Green did not return from absence in 31 games on March 14, while Andre Iguadala played only 28 games and only recently returned after a seven-week absence due to a back injury.
“It’s optional, but most likely we’ll give some guys a break,” Kerr said when I asked about his plans for future meetings. “I think Clay and Andre are pretty much automatic – just based on Clay’s recovery from injury, and then Andre, with his age, we won’t mess around.
“So these guys, it’s almost automatic. I think the other two guys are more in the air.”
That means Clay and Iguadala are unlikely to play Sunday against the Kings, and if Kerr continues to rest for the second day in a row, they also are unlikely to play in the regular season finale in New Orleans. The status of Draymond and Porter is more in the air.
FiveThirtyEight, as of this publication, predicts that the Warriors will finish the regular season with the third best figure in the West. But they drew with the Dallas Mavericks, who defeated the Warriors three times out of four. That would make the Warriors number 4 seeded, and they would play with the Jazz in the first round.
Ringer’s predictions also have the same results in which the Warriors and Maurice have won 51 games each, but the Mouse are the best seed.
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It is clear that the main priority of the Warriors, as it was all season, remains as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, for them it was not so often. Second on the list is that they earn the most seeders they can and then maintain an advantage at home in the first round as a seed in the top four and finally make sure they avoid the game tournament.
Whatever the fate of the Warriors, one thing is also clear: Curry believes that his team can defeat any team in its path, and he fully hopes that will be near.
“I hope I’m doing everything I can to be completely healthy, ready to play in the playoffs, and that’s what it’s all about at the moment,” Curry said in an exclusive interview with Anthony Flores on Friday. NBC Bay Area. “Being close to my teammates, striving to end the season strong and knowing that whoever we play in the playoffs with, we will be ready.”
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