For the first time since the 2014-15 season, the Golden State Warriors finished with under 60 wins. They enter these playoffs after finishing the 2017-18 with “only” 58 wins. For those NBA fans that only tune into the Association during the playoffs, do not take the decline in wins as sign of regression! The injury bug was hard at work this season in the bay area and the damned bug may foil the Warriors hopes of repeating as NBA Champs.

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Season Summary

After the setting the single win season in 2015-16 losing only nine times, that naturally becomes the chatter that surrounds the team. The Warriors collected their 10th regular season loss on January 20th at the Houston Rockets. It was a game that included the full compliment of superstars in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green. If you believe in foreshadowing and are a Warriors fan, that last line should scare you.

A fairly dominant season for the Warriors until mid-March until injuries decimated the team. On March 16th there was Kevin Durant’s rib injury that caused him to miss six games. Throughout the season, Curry has battled ankle problems playing only one game since March 9th. The Warriors finished the season going 6-9.

Now KD & Curry get all the headlines but key rotation player Patrick McCaw has also been ruled out of the first round of the playoffs along with team leader Curry.

The quote of the playoffs has already been spoken by another key Warriors rotation player struggling with injuries:

“Assholes get tight”, Andre Iguodala said, rolling his hand into a fist, according to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic.

Amidst all these injuries the Warriors only lagged behind the mighty Houston Rockets. It’s the playoff match everyone wants to see this season, will it happen?

Why They’ll Win

In a recent interview Curry stated:

“At the end of the day, we know what it takes…We’re a championship team, a championship pedigree.”

And this is true. The Warriors know what it takes to perform in the post season and this alone gives them an edge over any team in the West. Curry talks about the team having a championship pedigree and I couldn’t agree more, however, I think Curry needs to recover soon in order for that pedigree to take full shape.

Although it is a wonderful problem having to rely on Thompson, Durant and Green to carry the team, the world waits for Curry’s ankle to allow him to not only play but dominate on the floor.

Why They Won’t

Steph’s injury. Coach Steve Kerr has ruled out his availability for the first round of the playoffs. When Curry does return, it will be to one of the deepest Western Conference races in recent memory.

It is a stacked western conference, the question becomes how long the Warriors go without Curry? The second round features a date with either the Portland Trail Blazers (if they win their series) or either Utah or OKC if the Blazers lose their series. There are so many excuses to lose already built into this postseason for the Warriors, will they survive and outlast?

NBA Playoffs Preview: A Look At The Golden State Warriors
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