Steph Curry is ready to lead the Golden State Warriors into the postseason with a status that would seem unlikely to recent iterations of his team — the underdog.
After years atop the Western Conference followed by an abrupt downturn in 2020 when he was injured for the majority of the season, Curry and the Warriors are now headed back to the playoffs in the league’s new four-team playoff bracket. While it may be different than the days of occupying the top overall seed, Curry says he believes Golden State can recreate its past success as an underdog once again.
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Curry Ready for Playoffs
At 36-33 and with a little more than a week remaining in the regular season, the Warriors have clinched a spot in the play-in tournament and appear to be headed in as either the No. 7 or No. 8 seed, which would give them at least two chances to win their way into the bracket. As Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area noted, if the Warriors are successful in playing their way through the initial tournament, they would be rewarded by starting an opening-round series away from home for the first time since 2014.
Curry said he remembers that era fondly. In 2013, he helped lead the No. 6 Warriors to an opening-round upset of the No. 3 Denver Nuggets. Golden State came in as the sixth seed again the following year, taking the No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers to seven games.
With five games to go, the Lakers are currently set to play the Warriors in the play-in tournament 👀 pic.twitter.com/jnV3etuGxj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2021
“We might have to channel some 2013, ’14 kind of vibes,” Curry said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We were just coming on the scene as the new, up-and-coming playoff-type team. I know we’ve been there. I can kind of remember what it’s like when nobody’s probably gonna pick you in the series and whatnot — we gotta get there first. We’re not too far removed from that to not remember what it feels like and just come out swinging.”
Warriors Rolling as Playoffs Approach
The Warriors have hit their stride at the right time, winning a pair of games on back-to-back nights against two of the top teams in the Western Conference. Golden State followed up a victory on Monday against the No. 1 seeded Utah Jazz by defeating the No. 2 Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
“We’re not no We Believe 2.0, we got f—ing Steph Curry.”
Draymond said while he loves the “We Believe” Warriors, they’re not the same as the current team. pic.twitter.com/5ra6LVpUEp
— ESPN (@espn) May 12, 2021
The wins allowed the Warriors to remain a half-game up on the Memphis Grizzlies to hold the No. 8 seed. In the league’s new play-in tournament, the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds play in an opening game that determines the No. 7 seed, while the loser goes on to play the winner of a No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchup to determine the eighth and final playoff seed. If the Warriors can stay in the seventh spot, they would be headed for a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
As Brian Witt of NBC Sports noted, the Warriors could have a chance to lock up the No. 8 seed before their season finale, ensuring a chance at the seventh seed and two chances to play their way into the playoffs. To do so, the Warriors would need to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday and the Grizzlies lose both ends of a back-to-back against the Sacramento Kings this week.
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