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sport / / BANG: Warriors face ‘daunting’ play-in battle after losing first of 5 key games

o BANG: Warriors face ‘daunting’ play-in battle after losing first of 5 key gamesAllen

BANG: Warriors face ‘daunting’ play-in battle after losing first of 5 key games


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG:_Warriors_face_‘daunting’_play-in_
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2024 17:48:24 -0700
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 by: Allen - Fri, 15 Mar 2024 00:48 UTC

Warriors face ‘daunting’ play-in battle after losing first of 5 key games
The Warriors still have four matchups with play-in teams to make their move

>Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball against
Trayce Jackson-Davis #32 of the Golden State Warriors in the first half
at American Airlines Center on March 13, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO
USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of
the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: March 14, 2024 at 5:20 a.m. | UPDATED: March 14, 2024 at 3:35

DALLAS — For the rest of the season, the Warriors will be playing two
games simultaneously: the one on the court and the one in the standings.

Warriors players and coaches check the Western Conference standings
daily. They know that their push to escape the play-in round becomes
more and more tenuous with every loss. They know they need to treat
every game with urgency and intensity.

“Yeah, it feels daunting — the fact that you don’t want to be the
10-seed, obviously,” said rookie guard Brandin Podziemski. “You don’t
want to be a 10-seed and have to play two road games before getting to
an actual series. And you’ve got to win both.”

By falling to the Mavericks, another current play-in team, the Warriors
dropped to 34-31 and remained the 10th seed. The matchup was the start
of a string of games with major postseason implications: Starting with
the Lakers game Saturday at Arena, Golden State has two games
with Los Angeles and two more with Dallas left. Those results could
determine the ultimate play-in seedings, either by outright record or

“(The Mavericks) are in the play-in too right now, same with the Lakers
and Sacramento,” Podziemski added. “Any chance we get to play one of
those teams, it’s crucial that we win.”

The Warriors have been open about their goal of rising up to the
six-seed and out of the play-in round. But with 17 games remaining, that
objective is looking more far-fetched. Those four games against the
Lakers and Mavericks are highlighted on the calendar.

According to, the Warriors have a 56% chance of
claiming the 10-seed, which would earn them consecutive elimination
games on the road. The same site gives them 1% longshot odds to reach
the sixth seed.

Golden State had won six of seven games before this current 2-4 slide.
Any winning streak can be canceled out by a skid. They’re optimistic
that they’ve found a clearer identity, but finishing in the ninth or
tenth seed would be precarious for any squad. Teams ranked six through
10 in the West each have winning percentages between .523 and .585, so
there’s bound to be some leap-frogging.

“You can’t worry about it,” Steve Kerr said. “The season, it really is a
marathon. At any point in the season, you rattle off 10 wins in a row.
Whether it’s at the beginning or the end, it doesn’t matter. I still
have no doubt that this team can get on a great run and make a good push.”

The Warriors had neither Steph Curry (ankle sprain) nor Draymond Green
(low back soreness) available Wednesday against the Mavericks, who
bullied them into submission. The Warriors are 1-5 in games without
Curry this season, making his return — and ability to play at full
strength — pivotal.

Both Curry and Green could return as early as Saturday in Los Angeles.

On the year, the Warriors are 0-2 against the Mavericks and 1-1 against
the Lakers. They’ve already lost the tiebreaking season series against
Phoenix and would need a miracle to earn the tiebreaker over Sacramento
(by virtue of division record). Because of their conference records,
Golden State likely would lose a tiebreaker to Dallas even if they split
the season series.

In other words, the two rivalry games remaining against the Lakers could
be Golden State’s only chance at claiming a key tiebreaker.

Without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, Warriors overpowered by Mavericks
How one Maverick could break a Wilt Chamberlain record vs. Warriors
with Draymond out
Warriors' young players have flaws — but there are fixes
Steph Curry cleared to return to Warriors’ practices as ankle heals
Warriors adjusting to officiating changes amid NBA’s scoring explosion

At least for the cluttered West, it’s just about the point in the season
where teams will start thinking about jockeying for playoff position —
even with a month left. Before Wednesday night’s game, Mavericks coach
Jason Kidd brushed off a question about tiebreaker scenarios.

“Right now, we don’t have time to talk about tiebreakers,” Kidd said.
“Focus on the game plan, continue to trust, continue to build our
chemistry as we go forward. As you know, March will come to an end and
it’ll be April. Just gotta take it one game at a time, focus on that.
But at some point, we can talk about that. Right now, we’re just focused
on ourselves.”

The Warriors have no choice but to abide by the same message. As the
playoff picture caboose, Golden State has significant ground to make up.

sport / / BANG: Warriors face ‘daunting’ play-in battle after losing first of 5 key games


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