Whether intentional or not, the Golden State Warriors cost themselves a chance at another title by having such a horrid regular season.
Due to unforeseeable events, the Golden State Warriors have cost themselves a chance at competing for a title this season by being eliminated from playoff contention before the league’s hiatus began.
The Dubs were 15-50 prior to COVID bringing the sports world to a grinding halt. Their league-worst record made them the only team in the association to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
At the time, this didn’t seem like a big blow to the franchise. The season was doomed to be a mess the moment Klay Thompson tore his ACL and Kevin Durant left in free agency. Stephen Curry‘s fractured left hand all but sealed their fate. However, there could have been a chance for redemption had they simply remained competitive throughout the season.
The potential ‘play-in’ tournament
The NBA has been forced into thinking of creative ways to properly conclude the 2019-20 season. While jumping straight into the playoffs is an option, the league is seriously considering some form of ‘play-in’ tournament to give teams on the bubble a fair chance of reaching the postseason.
There was still a chance for the bottom few seeds to move around before the season ended with roughly 20 games remaining. Squads such as the Portland Trail Blazers have made it clear they want to compete in a ‘play-in’ tournament. Damian Lillard has gone as far as to say he won’t participate in any other games this season if this format isn’t implemented.
This has to be a crushing blow for the Warriors who would have been one hell of a dark horse candidate to steal a playoff berth with a healthy Curry and Thompson on the roster. Imagine having to face the five-time Western Conference Champions in the first round of the playoffs.
Obviously, the Dubs are a drastically different team and would be severe underdogs in the West. But, you can never underestimate the heart of a champion. It would have been wildly interesting to see the Warriors compete in a tournament such as this. Sadly, they will likely be watching from home.