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sport / / BANG: Advancing up the play-in? There’s still a path for Warriors

o BANG: Advancing up the play-in? There’s still a path for WarriorsAllen

BANG: Advancing up the play-in? There’s still a path for Warriors


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG:_Advancing_up_the_play-in?_There’s_still
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2024 20:58:26 -0700
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 by: Allen - Sun, 7 Apr 2024 03:58 UTC

Advancing up the play-in? There’s still a path for Warriors
The Warriors have a 20% chance at reaching the seventh or eighth seed
>Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball past against
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first half
of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Friday, April 5, 2024. (AP Photo/LM

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: April 6, 2024 at 6:15 a.m. | UPDATED: April 6, 2024 at 10:51 a.m.

DALLAS — Even after losing to the Mavericks at the buzzer, the Warriors
still have a chance to climb up the Western Conference standings. In
fact, it was one of the many topics broached in a light postgame
visitor’s locker room that included a miniature watch party of the end
of Iowa’s Final Four win over UConn.

The Warriors remain in the 10th seed, the slot they unofficially
clinched in Houston on Thursday. A win over the Mavericks would’ve done
wonders for Golden State in the standings, given that the Pelicans and
Kings loss and the Lakers were idle. Their margin for error with five
games remaining is slim, but it’s still very possible to advance out of
the 9/10 play-in matchup.

If it has felt like every Warriors game has had playoff ramifications
for weeks, that’s because they have. And it doesn’t seem like the final
five games will let up.

“We had to be, probably for the past week, week and a half,” Gary Payton
II said when asked if he feels like Golden State has been in
playoff-mode. “We had to make some things happen, just continue to play
at a high level. Know what’s at stake. The rest of these games are
probably playoff, play-in atmosphere.”

First, here’s the play-in picture the Warriors — admitted
standings-watchers — will face on their Saturday day off.

7th: Pelicans (45-32) 8th: Kings (44-33) 9th: Lakers (44-33) 10th:
Warriors (42-35)

Just two games separate the Warriors from the Kings and Lakers. Being in
the eighth seed has a significant advantage over the ninth or 10th spot:
you get two chances to win a sudden death game, rather than the harsh
reality of a single loss ending your season.

There are a few factors trending in the Warriors’ favor. For one,
they’re playing their best ball of the season. Before the Mavericks
loss, they won a season-high six straight games. Since Jan. 31, they’re
22-11 — the sixth best winning percentage in the league (bad news: the
Lakers are second at 20-8 in that span).

Another thing in their favor is the scheduling. Golden State’s five
remaining opponents have a .436 winning percentage — fifth easiest of
any team, per Tankathon. They have two games against the Jazz and one in
Portland, plus tough matchups against New Orleans and the Lakers. But
winning those latter two, against LA and the Pelicans, could make all
the difference.

The teams the Warriors are chasing, meanwhile, face uphill battles. New
Orleans, which has lost four straight, has the Warriors, Kings, Lakers
and Suns left (plus the Blazers). Los Angeles has the seventh hardest
remaining schedule — Minnesota, Cleveland, Golden State, New Orleans and

And Sacramento is the most vulnerable. They lost Malik Monk for the rest
of the regular season and Kevin Huerter for the year. They still have
the Thunder, Suns and Pelicans left.

The Warriors might need to go 4-1 our win each of their last five games
to make headway. Given how they’ve handled less talented opponents
(they’re 24-5 against teams below .500), cleaning up on the Jazz and
Blazers is certainly possible. The swing games will be against the
Lakers and Pelicans.

The Warriors don’t have the tiebreaker against the Kings, but can claim
it on the Pelicans and Lakers with head-to-head victories. For much of
the second half, the Warriors have played well but haven’t budged in the
standings, creating the mirage that the table is set in stone. But the
bottom of the West still has the potential to get wacky in the last week.

Playoff Status, a playoff probabilities resource, gives the Warriors 20%
chance at finishing either in seventh or eighth. For a visual, Draymond
Green has made 21.4% of his 3-pointers with four seconds or less left on
the shot clock.

Avoiding the 9/10 play-in is as likely as this shot going in.

[Video Player
00:00 00:10]

It’s probably not the shot the Warriors would want. But it’s not a
prayer, either.

At this point, after months tied down at the bottom of the playoff
picture, the Warriors will take it.

sport / / BANG: Advancing up the play-in? There’s still a path for Warriors


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