There is nowhere to hide for the Golden State Warriors as they are destined for a first round challenge no matter who they get matched with in the standings.
The NBA Playoffs are all about testing a team’s strengths and weaknesses. For the Warriors, their frontcourt is going to be one of the determining factors in what could be a race to the title. In order to do so, they have to survive a first round meeting with either Nikola Jokic or Karl-Anthony Towns.
Golden State is deadlocked in a race for the second seed. Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves are battling for the sixth seed. Any way you look at it, there is almost a guarantee the Dubs will have to tackle one of the elite big men early in the postseason.
The Golden State Warriors will most likely have to battle Nikola Jokic or Karl-Anthony Towns in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Jokic, one of the MVP frontrunners, is averaging 26.1 points, 13.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists as an all-around weapon of mass destruction. Meanwhile, Towns is an all-time great floor spacer, averaging 24.9 points on 41.4% 3-point shooting this season.
The Warriors are bound to have their hands full with one of these centers. After all, 6’9″ Kevon Looney is their main defense. Barring a last-second signing or a miracle recovery from James Wiseman, the Dubs will have to fight above their weight class.
Playing small has always been a blessing and a curse for Golden State. While they revolutionized basketball with their death lineup — they’ve also been vulnerable due to their lack of size. This year, more than ever, their weakness could cause their downfall.
Yet, the team has done a fantastic job of covering for each other. Names like Otto Porter, Andrew Wiggins Nemanja Bjelica, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Jonathan Kuminga and of course, Draymond Green, have ensured the Warriors don’t make any excuses for being shorter than their opponents.
All together, Golden State ranks ninth in rebounding and third in DEF RTNG despite their size. This production will have to hold up early in the playoffs against two of the NBA’s best centers.