After making it into the second round of the playoffs last year in just their first postseason berth since the 2006-07 season, the Golden State Warriors came into this NBA year hoping to improve on their impressive playoff showing. The Warriors have not made back-to-back playoff appearances since the 1990-92 seasons, but look to be on their way to reaching that mark this year.
Following a home loss to the New York Knicks, the Warriors currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference with a record of 45-28. Golden State was in a similar position last year, as they entered the playoffs as a sixth seed with a regular season record of 47-35.
Steph Curry has had another outstanding year for the Warriors, and is a big reason why the team is looking at their second consecutive playoff berth. After setting an NBA record for made three pointers in a regular season last year with 272, Curry was selected to his first All-Star team this year.
On the season Curry is shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the three-point line, and is seventh in the league in scoring at 23.7 points per game. Along with his impressive scoring numbers, Curry is also fifth in the league in assists, averaging 8.4 per game. If Curry continues to play well down the final stretch of the NBA’s regular season, he will have a chance to break his own three-point shooting record that he set last season.
Another Warrior who has been lighting it up this season has been Klay Thompson. The backcourt of Curry and Thompson has been dubbed the “Splash Brothers” because of their proficient outside shooting. To go along with Curry’s 41.9 percent three-point shooting, Thompson is shooting 40.7 percent from beyond the arc, while adding 18.1 points per game of his own.
Player to Watch in the Playoffs
In game one of their first round series against the Denver Nuggets last year, the Warriors lost starting forward David Lee for the remainder of the season due to a hip injury. Golden State will need David Lee to stay healthy this year if they are to make another deep playoff run.
Lee is a two-time All-Star and has been a double-double machine for the majority of his career. He is nearly averaging one this season at 18.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Lee has been one of Golden State’s most efficient offensive players on the year as he shooting above 52 percent from the field.
Lee is the team’s best offensive threat in the low post, and helps open up the court for outside shooters like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. With Andrew Bogut sidelined for 7-10 days with a groin injury and his playoff readiness unknown, Golden State will have to rely heavily on David Lee as their main force in the paint.
How Will Their Season End
Currently, Golden State has not even secured a playoff spot, there is still a chance that they could fall all the way from the sixth seed out of playoff contention. Memphis, Dallas and Phoenix are all within 2 games of Golden State, and they will be making a charge at the playoffs in the final weeks of the NBA regular season.
That being said, expect the Warriors to hold on to their sixth seed and go on a bit of a tear through the NBA playoffs. Steph Curry has the shooting ability to bring the Warriors back from almost any deficit imaginable, and has the will and determination to win. If David Lee and Andre Iguodola remain healthy, it is quite possible that the Golden State Warriors make a run to the Western Conference Finals.
It is unlikely that the Warriors would beat the likes of the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference Finals, but who knows, the NBA playoffs are where amazing happens.
NBA Daily is a daily series providing commentary, predictions, and analysis of events surrounding the NBA.
Commentary By Eric Kummel