A strange quirk in the NBA’s second-half schedule sets the Warriors up for a playoff spot in the crowded Western Conference

The second half of the NBA schedule was released on Wednesday, removing some of the mystery associated with an unprecedented 2020-21 season. The league wisely scheduled only the first half of the games before the season, leaving room in the second half for catch-up games from COVID-related postponements, of which there have been many.

Because some teams need to play more games than others, there are some quirks in the second half schedule. The Los Angeles Clippers, for example, don’t have to leave Los Angeles from March 29 to April 13, as they play nine home games in a 15-day span. Another feature of the schedule that could prove pivotal in the Western Conference playoff run is the fact that the Golden State Warriors will play their last six games of the season at home, the longest stay at home to close out a season. in the history of the franchise.

The Warriors entered Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers in eighth place in the West, but the standings are packed. Golden State is just 1.5 games behind No. 5, and just three games ahead of No. 11. It’s safe to say that the team’s playoff fate, or at least its seeded, will be determined over the course of those last six home games.

“It could be very beneficial. We’ll see how it all plays out,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the six home games to end the regular season. “Hopefully we are in a good position to enter that family home. But, there is a long way to go, so we’ll see.”

The Warriors face the top three teams in the West, the Clippers, Jazz and Lakers, to start their second-half schedule, but things get more navigable after that, concluding with those six games at home against the Thunder ( twice), Jazz, Suns, Pelicans and Grizzlies. At that point, OKC could be in tank mode, the Jazz and Suns can rest players with the postseason looming, and the Pelicans and Grizzlies could be Golden State’s main competition in the lower half of the Western Conference playoff picture.

The favorable schedule prepares the Warriors to return to the postseason after missing the playoffs last year for the first time since 2012 due to a series of injuries, primarily to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Of course, they have to get there first and stay healthy, but the Warriors must like their opportunities if they are within attacking distance to enter that last home stay.

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