There are just 18 games left on the schedule, and these last 18 games are critical in every aspect for the Golden State Warriors. One loss can result in a drop in the standings or even dropping out of playoff contention.
The Warriors have their work cut out for them for these next seven days; three of their next four opponents are all in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. Those three teams the Warriors will face are the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Portland Trail Blazers. Aside from deciding where the Warriors are at for the playoffs, each game has its own importance.
This week started off with a win on Sunday against the Phoenix Suns, who are battling for a playoff berth. The Warriors were tested late in the game as the Suns cut a 16-point deficit to just six points. On Tuesday night, the Mavericks are coming to Oracle with the same mindset as the Suns; they are in the fight for a playoff spot and will look to end the Warriors’ 4-game winning streak. This game will be a measuring stick of the Warriors’ hunger to secure a playoff position.
On Wednesday, the Warriors fly down to the city of Angeles take on the Clippers. The tail end of a back-to-back game will always reveal the depth of a basketball team. Since the All-Star break, the bench for Golden State has played very well. After the break, it has increased its averages in points and assists by 12.4 and 4.4, respectively. The bench will be challenged by a very deep Clipper roster.
The week ends with a trip up to Portland, Oregon with a game against the Trail Blazers. The Warriors and Blazers split the season competition with one win a piece. Portland currently holds a 2.5 game ahead of the Warriors for the fifth seed. To climb up the standings, the Warriors must win this game to cut down the margin between them and the Blazers.
The goal before the season was to get to 50 wins. Those head-scratching losses at the beginning of the season are in the past, and the Warriors can make up for them by ending the season strong. Each game down the stretch will become more competitive and will defy their strength for the playoffs.