With nine games remaining in their regular season, the Golden State Warriors are far from assured of a position in the NBA playoffs. Sitting at 37-36, the defending champions may need to go through the play-in tournament should they wish to secure a postseason berth.
Monday’s road win in Houston, and a loss for the Dallas Mavericks in Memphis, means the Warriors have retaken sixth spot in the Western Conference. Teams that finish 1-6 secure their playoff seeding, while teams 7-10 battle for the final two spots through the play-in tournament.
Who would the Golden State Warriors face in the 2023 NBA playoffs if the regular season finished today?
Given there’s just 3.5 games between fourth and 12th place in the West, predicting the playoff bracket is almost a futile task. One thing is for certain, the current standings are highly unlikely to remain the same.
However, if the regular season finished today, Golden State would face an old friend in Mike Brown’s Sacramento Kings. A long-time senior assistant of Steve Kerr’s, Brown is likely to win Coach of the Year after the Kings monumental jump up the standings this season.
Sacramento’s explosive offense, led by All-Stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, is going to be dangerous regardless of their opponent. Their 118.6 offensive rating is best in the league, and they sit in the top eight for both three-point percentage and attempts.
If Golden State remain in sixth spot, they’re likely to face the Kings or renew their rivalry with the Memphis Grizzlies in a mouth-watering matchup for the league. The Warriors will hold an experience advantage regardless of who they see, but that’ll be exaggerated even more so if it’s Sacramento given they haven’t seen the postseason since 2006.
Given Golden State’s confidence levels thanks to years of championship experience, there’s a sense that they won’t care about who they come up against. For now, the focus simply needs to be about getting there in the first place.