Early postseason results further prove Warriors' belief in playoff run was false hope

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Just over a month before their season came to an unceremonious ending in Sacramento, Golden State Warriors' head coach Steve Kerr declared his team was primed for a deep playoff run.

Kerr wasn't the only one with a high level of optimism, with some fans dreaming of an extraordinary turnaround as the Warriors found form over the second half of the season. The franchise had the second-most wins in the league from January 30 onwards, having ranked in the top eight for both offense and defense through that period.

The early postseason success of the top seeds further proves the Golden State Warriors' belief in a deep run was nothing but false hope

Even as they entered the Play-In Tournament from the tenth-seed, there was still a belief that a surprise run could be produced. If they could get past the Kings in Sacramento, they'd face a New Orleans Pelicans team who had lost Zion Williamson to a hamstring injury.

Make it out of the Play-In and you get a young, inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder many thought were vulnerable in the first-round. There were plenty of hoops to jump through, but there was a pathway if good enough.

In reality they weren't. Kerr's claim that they were primed for a deep run looked anything but in a blowout loss to the Kings, who would go on to lose to the Pelicans despite Williamson's injury. Since then the form of the Pelicans and seventh-seed Los Angeles Lakers has further proven that the Warriors' dream was nothing but that.

The Lakers and Warriors were often classed together throughout the season -- a pair of underperforming teams who still posed a threat thanks to one of the league's all-time greats. Some thought Los Angeles could challenge the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, yet while they've had their chances with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing well, they've thoroughly been outplayed in going down 3-0 after Thursday's 112-105 defeat at Crypto.com Arena.

The Pelicans on the other hand have been left to lick their wounds after a 32-point loss to the Thunder in Game 2 of their series. While they'll now have an opportunity to respond at home, they look outmatched with Williamson left watching on from the sidelines.

The early postseason results suggest the top seeds finished as such for a reason, and showcases why the Warriors, despite their strong end to the season, were always further away from contention than many believed.