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Evaluating Lakers, Timberwolves, and Nuggets, Stephen A. Smith Confidently Predicts a ‘Sneaky’ Playoffs Run From Stephen Curry and Co.

Siddid Dey Purkayastha

Evaluating Lakers, Timberwolves, and Nuggets, Stephen A. Smith Confidently Predicts a ‘Sneaky’ Playoffs Run From Stephen Curry and Co.

As the postseason draws nearer, the crew at ‘First Take’ has started discussing the upcoming scenarios that could lead to the playoffs. The Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers engaged in a highly contested game last night, finishing with a 134-120 Warriors win. The Dubs’ confidence against the 9th-seed Lakers makes Stephen A. Smith believe that the Warriors could pull off a ‘sneaky run’ toward the playoffs.

Smith presented a comprehensive analysis of the Western Conference teams to explain why he trusts the Warriors to pull off a sneaky run. The veteran analyst pointed out that the Warriors had already beaten the Lakers 3 out of 4 times this season. Going forward in the Play-Ins, it could also be a form that the Warriors can replicate from a potential matchup against LA.

Speaking to co-analyst Madd Dogg, Smith said, “You are in a position this year and only half game behind them. So you are in a position to get a home-court advantage for the 9-10th place in the event you run the table.” Smith further suggested that the Warriors could even take the Sacramento Kings’ No.8 place, giving them two chances of making the playoffs.

On that note, Smith also believes it’s too early to waive off Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s prowesses, especially when leading their team to the playoffs. He believes that though the Dubs don’t have enough to beat the Denver Nuggets, they can still square off younger teams in the Conference, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and OKC Thunder.

The Warriors have a significant advantage in shooting, especially given the prowess of their sharpshooter Stephen Curry.  However, besides Curry, the team overall has a better shooting accuracy than the other teams, with players such as Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggings, Jonathan Kuminga, and Draymond Green helping from the perimeter or banking jump shots.

Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

This could allow the Warriors to give the Timberwolves and Thunder’s centers and defenders a run for their money to beat the plays. This is given how the Warriors could take advantage of the game pacing down as the league approaches the postseason. However, such maneuvers against the Nuggets and Nikola Jokic might be pretty precarious for the Dubs to pull off.

Nevertheless, SAS contended that the Golden State Warriors could pull off a sneaky run in the Play-Ins and perhaps in the playoffs. Drawing from their last night’s game against the Lakers, SAS concluded that the Warriors could keep up such a form while heading to the playoffs. Hence, this makes them a dark horse moving forward into the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors schedule and Play-In chances

The Golden State Warriors currently sit 10th in the Western Conference, and as Stephen A. Smith highlighted, one of the least consistent teams this season. Hence, the pressure on the Warriors is relatively low regarding expectations. However, in their next three games against the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and Jazz, they could even come upwards from the 10th seed to challenge the 8th-seed Sacramento Kings.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, the Warriors have most definitely clinched a Play-In spot. They have been one of the hottest road teams this season. As the 10th seed, if the Warriors win two road play-in tournament games, they could quickly advance to the playoffs. And if they can climb up and clinch the 8th seed, they would need just one win to advance.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Siddid Dey Purkayastha

Siddid Dey Purkayastha


Siddid Dey Purkayastha is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush, covering the sports for two years. He has always been a lover of sports and considers basketball as his favorite. While he has more than 600 articles under his belt, Siddid specializes in CoreSport pieces with on-point game analysis. He is an ardent fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, since Kobe Bryant's 80-point game made him a fan of the franchise. Apart from basketball, Siddid occasionally watches soccer and takes a fancy in following up with the Premier League in his free time.

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