Steve Kerr has always liked the idea of the NBA play-in tournament, but that used to come with a caveat.
"If we're ninth or 10th [in the Western Conference], I would love it," Kerr joked with reporters about the Warriors being in the play-in tournament March. "If we're seventh or eighth, I think it's total bullcrap."
However, the Warriors coach now fully admits he likes the idea. While LeBron James, Luka Doncic and others have blasted the thought of getting bounced from the postseason after one or two losses, it doesn't bother Kerr at all. To the Warriors head coach it's simple: just win.
"I love it,” Kerr told 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto and Kolsky" about the play-in tournament on Thursday. “The last month’s been infinitely more interesting for NBA fans. It’s great. If you finish 7th and you lose two straight, then you probably weren’t good enough to advance in the playoffs anyway. That’s just the truth.”
Hard to argue with that logic.
The Warriors now are 37-33 and sit in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference. While Golden State is locked into the play-in tournament, its seeding will be determined on Sunday, the final day of the regular season, when the Warriors and Grizzlies face-off at Chase Center.
The winner of Sunday's Warriors-Grizzlies game will earn the No. 8 seed while the loser will get the No. 9 seed and play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the play-in tournament.
As for the No. 7 seed, the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks all still could potentially land in that spot. However, the Lakers are the favorite to earn that spot as of Friday. In order for LA to avoid the play-in, the Lakers need to win their final two games and either have the Blazers lose their finale against the Denver Nuggets or have the Mavericks lose their final two games against the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves.
It's going to be a chaotic weekend in the NBA. But when the dust settles, we could very well have the Warriors and Lakers set to duel in the first play-in game.