Every day we seem to learn more and more about how the NBA’s crazy regular season finale will play out. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Warriors have secured a spot in the play-in tournament and will fight to claim the No. 8 seed Sunday in a crucial matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies.
A win Sunday will lock the Warriors into the eighth seed in the tournament, where they would likely play the No. 7 seed Los Angeles Lakers, although the Portland Trail Blazers still have an outside chance at falling into the play-in matchup.
If the Warriors were to lose Sunday, the Grizzlies will claim the eighth seed and the Warriors will claim the No. 9 seed. Golden State would then face off against the No. 10 seeded San Antonio Spurs in round one of the play-in tournament in a single-elimination game. Obviously, the Warriors would rather win the No. 7/No. 8 game and advance to the first round, rather than have to win two games as the No. 9 seed.
The Warriors may end up resting some of their stars Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans, as they deal with wear-and-tear injuries down the stretch. Head coach Steve Kerr and his club will aim to win both games — but make no mistake — it all comes down to Sunday.
The Warriors and Grizzlies are both 37-33 after Memphis took down the Kings on Thursday night. Even if the Warriors and Grizzlies end up with identical regular-season records, Sunday’s matchup will settle the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two squads, as they split the first two games of their season series.