Warriors playoff scenarios: Breaking down Golden State’s playoff picture following Tuesday’s win vs. Suns

·2 min read

The start of the new-look NBA playoffs are rapidly approaching, and every game is crucial across the league as teams are battling for playoff positioning. New in 2021 is the launch of the play-in tournament, which gives four teams from each conference the chance to occupy the final two playoff slots for the first round – and means that the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds could potentially be sent home early.

How does the NBA’s new playoff system work, and which teams are the Warriors projected to face? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a comprehensive look at the standings, the Warriors’ remaining schedule, and their potential playoff opponents with seven games left in the regular season.

The current standings:

  • 5 – Portland Trail Blazers (41-29)

  • 6 – Dallas Mavericks (41-29)

  • 7 – Los Angeles Lakers (40-30) – 1 game back

  • 8 – Golden State Warriors (37-33) – 3 games back

  • 9 – Memphis Grizzlies (36-33) – 3.5 games back

  • 10 – San Antonio Spurs (33-36) – 6.5 games back

  • 11 – Sacramento Kings (31-38) – 8.5 games back

Games remaining in the regular season: 2

Next game: vs. Pelicans, Friday, May 14

Remaining schedule:

  • May 14: vs. Pelicans (12th in West), 7 p.m. PT

  • May 16: vs. Grizzlies (9th in West), time TBD

Playoff opponents if season ended today:

Despite winning six of their last seven with back-to-back victories over the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, the Warriors are clinging to a tight half-game hold for the No. 8 seed over the Memphis Grizzlies heading into the final two-game stretch of the season. The Grizzlies and Warriors will likely meet to settle the No. 8 and No. 9 seed race on the final game of the 2020-21 campaign on Sunday at Chase Center.

As the current 8-seed, the Warriors would be slated for a must-watch one-game playoff against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the current No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers to determine the overall No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. If the Warriors won that game, they would move on to meet the No. 2 seed in the West (the Suns) in the first round.

If the Warriors were to lose the opening play-in game, they would play the winner of a playoff between the No. 9 (Memphis Grizzlies) and No. 10 (San Antonio Spurs) teams. If Golden State won that game, they would become the overall No. 8 seed in the West, and face the No. 1 seed Utah Jazz in the first round.

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