Why not having the No. 1 seed may not be a bad thing for the Warriors


Why not having the No. 1 seed may not be a bad thing for the Warriors

In each of the past three seasons the Warriors placed a high value on using the regular season to earn the No. 1 overall seed entering the playoffs. Given its specific value to them, that goal was both logical and meaningful.

We repeat: Was.

The odds are stacked against the Warriors because they’re going into the final four weeks shorthanded, beginning with Stephen Curry, and because Houston, with a virtual three-game lead, shows no sign of anything remotely resembling a slump.

Even if the Warriors were to somehow achieve the No. 1 seed, it would not wield the clout it had in the past. Oh, they’d like it because it means opening every series at home and any Game 7s would be in Oakland. But they also realize Oracle Arena doesn’t provide the sizable advantage it once did.

Oracle still can be imposing, particularly in the postseason, when Dub Nation sniffs the possibility of a championship and turns bloodthirsty. In rampaging to the title last spring, the Warriors were perfect (9-0) at home with an average win margin of 17 points.

Oracle was their safety net, and teams daring to venture in were demolished.

That they likely won’t have homecourt advantage throughout is not a death knell for the Warriors. Not even close. Should they finish behind the Rockets, they would have to travel to Houston to open the series if the two teams advance to the conference finals. Should they finish behind the Raptors, and the teams advance to the NBA Finals, the Warriors would have travel to Toronto to open the series.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for a team that thrives on challenges and is experienced in making deep postseason runs -- unlike either Houston or Toronto.

The days of invulnerability at Oracle are over, at least temporarily and maybe for good. With eight games remaining, the Warriors are 26-7 at home. That sounds impressive until one considers they lost a total of nine regular-season home games over the three previous seasons.

More to the point, those losses have come against an odd variety of visiting teams -- from the excellent to the mediocre to teams so far down the standings they’d need a NASA telescope to see the top.

The Warriors’ practical invincibility at home began to fray when they lost to the Rockets, on opening night, after taking a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. Twelve nights later, the Pistons came to Oakland and outscored the Warriors 49-30 over the final 16 minutes to win by eight.

The Kings won in Oakland. The Nuggets won by 15 in Oakland, the Hornets by 11, the Clippers by 19, the Thunder by 20.

The Warriors are on the brink of losing the homecourt advantage in the postseason because they found ways in the regular season to lose too many games in which they supposedly had exactly that.

They have eight more regular-season games at Oracle, the first coming Wednesday night against the Lakers, who have won eight of their last 10 and are 19-9 over their last 28 games.

Just as important, the Warriors have seven more road games on the schedule, including trips to Utah and Oklahoma City, two teams against whom they are a combined 2-3. They have two games against Indiana, home and away, and the surprising Pacers are the No. 3 seed in the East.

The Warriors aren’t inclined to surrender anything, nor should they. But they are nose-to-nose with a bleak reality.

They’ve been without Stephen Curry for at least four more games and don’t know when he’ll return. They’ve been without David West for three games and don’t know when he’ll be back. Draymond Green will sit Wednesday night with an achy shoulder unlikely to heal until the offseason. The ultra-reliable Klay Thompson is questionable Wednesday after spraining a thumb on Sunday.

For the first time in four seasons, the Warriors are not in position to be preoccupied with locking down a homecourt advantage that isn’t worth what it used to be.

They’re better off devoting themselves to getting ailing players healthy and keeping the healthy ones hearty enough to drop the hammer when the real season begins.

Report: Steph Curry will not participate in Team USA minicamp


Report: Steph Curry will not participate in Team USA minicamp

The USA Men's National Team will hold a minicamp next week in Las Vegas.

Steph Curry will not paricipate, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Why won't he be in attendance?

Ayesha Curry gave birth to a baby boy on July 2 and Steph is going to be with his newborn son and family, according to the report.

Despite his absence, Curry will still be eligible to earn a spot on the 12-man roster for the 2020 Olympics.

The three-time NBA champion won a gold medal at the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championship.

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are among the 35 players invited to the minicamp.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Would Ray Allen beat Steph Curry, Klay Thompson in 3-point contest? 'Ummmmmm'

Would Ray Allen beat Steph Curry, Klay Thompson in 3-point contest? 'Ummmmmm'

Ray Allen made 2,973 3-pointers in his career -- the most in NBA history.

Steph Curry is currently seventh all-time at 2,129.

Klay Thompson is at No. 24 with 1,557 makes.

Over the weekend, Allen and Curry played some golf in the American Century Championship in Tahoe.

The day before the tournament started, Allen was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show, and the following back-and-forth took place:

Patrick: "You at your best vs Steph Curry at his best. Who's a better shooter?"

Allen: "Ummmmmm (pause) ... you know, Dan -- I always compare myself how I played more to Klay Thompson. Just watching Steph, he's somewhat in a world of his own because he's got great handles and he has the ball 80 percent of the time, so..

Patrick: "Just a shooting contest. Just shooting contest. It's you, Steph, Klay -- you pick your spot -- who is the better shooter out of you three?"

Allen: "Ummmm. Again, I think it would be a helluva shooting contest. But what I would do -- I would put them on the move ... they're both not stand-still shooters, but moving backwards, moving left to right, front to back in 3s -- and both of them can do that well -- that is really where you see shooting at its finest. The 3-point contest is fun and it is interesting, but imagine if you adapted a contest where you had to start in one position to get to the next spot and then shoot it and make that shot. That would be a much more interesting contest."

Thanks for not answering the question whatsoever, Ray!

But don't worry everybody. We know how things would turn out...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller