Golden State Warriors face uphill battle to defend title
The Golden State Warriors still have a chance to defend their title in the postseason, but it will be an uphill battle.
State of play: The All-Star break is almost over and the Dubs are sitting in ninth place with 29 wins and 29 losses in the Western Conference.
- If the season were to end today, the Warriors would find themselves competing in the play-in, a tournament to determine which teams will make up the seventh and eighth seeds in the playoffs.
- Teams ranked first through sixth are guaranteed to compete in the playoffs, while the seventh through 10th seeds are forced to battle it out in the play-in tournament.
By the numbers: On the plus side, the Dubs are just one game behind the Dallas Mavericks, currently in sixth place.
- Yes, but: The Warriors are just one game ahead of the Utah Jazz at 11th place.
Why it matters: The Warriors have a very slim margin of error for these final 24 regular-season games.
- If the Warriors miss the postseason, the team would join a sad, sad club of just two other defending champions in NBA history that have failed to make the playoffs the following year: the 1969-70 Boston Celtics and the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls, according to The Sporting News.
What we're watching: Stephen Curry is recovering from a lower-leg injury and Gary Payton II suffered a core muscle injury, so a big question is when they will be back in the game.
- The Warriors have just one available roster spot and the team will soon need to make a decision over whether to offer contracts to guard Ty Jerome and forward Anthony Lamb.
What's next: The Warriors play their next game Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers in LA.
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