Golden State Warriors: 3 things to watch for in the second half

James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images /

3. Can the Warriors reach the sixth seed and avoid the play-in games?

The Golden State Warriors are currently 19-19, sitting at 10th in the Western Conference. Barring a long-term injury to Stephen Curry, this team has a better than average shot at least the play-in this season.

The question is how high can they climb? The sweet spot is sixth because that means you are automatically advanced to the postseason and don’t have to fight through the play-in game for the right to make the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets currently sit at sixth at 21-15, or just 2.5 games ahead of the Warriors.

There are two factors in play for whether the Warriors can make it that high by the end of the season. The first is the rest of the Western Conference. For the Warriors to get to sixth they will not only need to play well, but they will also need to pass four teams, which employ some combination of Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic, among others. Those teams will all be fighting to reach sixth themselves.

A point in the Warriors’ favor is that, even with their record, they have the conference’s seventh-best point differential. Three of the teams ahead of them have a negative one, suggesting they have played somewhat over their heads to this point.

The second factor in the Warriors’ finish is how they balance present success with long-term goals. This is a team that wants to develop its young talent and wants to save the legs of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green for next season when Klay Thompson returns and this team feels like it can contend once more. How will the Warriors prioritize the two?

The next two months will tell us a lot about the Warriors and their chances this year and going forward. The dominance of the dynasty years have given way to a fascinating squad with plenty of storylines and questions. There is no question that following and watching this team is wildly entertaining.

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