Warriors playoff forecast: Mostly cloudy 

The Warriors’ 25-29 record might be a touch disappointing, but what is more important is that they were just a game out of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot at the All-Star break.

It’s as good a position as they’ve been in at this time of year in quite a while.

Still, they find themselves among five teams battling for that last spot. The bottom line, though, is that the Warriors are going to have to put together a good stretch of basketball — a six- or seven-game winning streak or eight wins in 10 games or some streak like that — in order to snap their 12-year postseason drought.

Thus far, there has been no evidence they can accomplish that. And the Warriors are unlikely to do so unless they pull off the improbable.

The best the Warriors have played this season was in mid-November, when they strung together five consecutive wins, four of them with Baron Davis and Jason Richardson in the lineup together.

It helped that all five of those games were at home and four of those wins were against New Orleans, Toronto, Sacramento and Seattle. The Warriors have been playing much of the season without Richardson, but will get him back tonight against Memphis.

Problem is, of course, that Davis is now out and likely will be for a little bit. When he comes back, there is no assurance that the Warriors will have the wherewithal to make a push.

Any Warriors surge will have to come away from Oracle Arena, where they haven’t proven they can win consistently. The Warriors are 6-20 on the road, are looking at a five-game trip a week from now to Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Washington and Detroit and finish the season with 14 of their final 25 away from home. They have yet to win the second game of a back-to-back on the road this season.

While it’s true the Warriors have yet to be at full strength for any length of time this season, it’s a stretch to believe this team is going to get healthy, come together in the snap of a finger and end the year on some kind of 15-6 run.

If and when Davis comes back and joins Richardson, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington, it’s pretty clear that the Warriors will have some legitimate firepower. But the challenge for the Warriors will be for that group of high-volume shooters (Ellis excepted) to quickly find chemistry, maintain it and parlay that explosiveness into winning basketball.

From here, that seems like too tough a task. We’ll allow for the possibility it could happen, but we’re not betting on it.

Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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