Warriors

Where Warriors sit in playoff picture after Grizzlies' win

Warriors
Ja Morant

The Warriors didn't play on Wednesday, but their place in the Western Conference playoff picture changed nonetheless. Such is to be expected when you're down to less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.

There were two games of particular interest to Golden State on Wednesday night. One went in the Warriors' favor, and one didn't.

The San Antonio Spurs suffered a blowout loss to the Utah Jazz and dropped to 31-34, meaning the Dubs (33-33) now sit 1.5 games ahead of the Spurs, who remain in 10th place and have a hold on to the last play-in spot in the West. San Antonio's cushion over the 11th-place New Orleans Pelicans is now down to 1.5 games, however.

Unfortunately for the idle Warriors, they didn't gain any separation over the Memphis Grizzlies. Quite the opposite, in fact. The Grizzlies earned a narrow win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to improve to 33-32 and leapfrog Golden State into eighth place, half a game ahead of the Warriors in ninth.

While the Warriors obviously would have preferred for the Grizzlies to lose, it's not all bad. The T-Wolves have been hot, and every additional loss will help ensure that Minnesota's top-three protected 2021 first-round draft pick -- which the Warriors own -- doesn't drop too far in the lottery, and thereby, lose value.

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So, if the season ended today, the Warriors would be in the 9/10 play-in game against the Spurs. If the Warriors won that game, they would face the loser of the 7/8 play-in game to determine which team would advance as the eighth seed in the West. While it's almost certain that the Warriors will be in a play-in game, they'd obviously prefer to only have to win once.

 

Luckily for the Warriors, they'll likely control their own fate. All six of their remaining games will be played at home, with the final two against the Pelicans and Grizzlies, respectively. As such, Golden State's spot in the play-in might not be determined until the final buzzer sounds on May 16.

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