Kenny Smith was looking for an explanation as to why the Bay Area was so down on the Warriors. The TNT analyst was confused why so many thought they were a title contender, and he considered them to be doing well.
“They are right where they should be,” he said. “They're right there fighting for a top seed.”
He was right. Hysteria and panic have run rampant in #DubNation as the Warriors spent most of the season vacillating between elite and disappointing. But we're nearing the end of it all with the Warriors in a good position — on the cusp of meeting the lofty expectations.
They are also a losing streak from threatening their playoff expectations. But in this Western Conference, that is a reasonable reality. And it wouldn't be Warriors basketball if disappointment wasn't just around the corner.
The Warriors are one final push from being in the mix in the brutal West. It didn't come in the world-beating fashion die-hards wanted, but the opportunity is there if they seize it. Coming off a 4-2 trip, having won seven of nine since the All-Star break, it seems they might be finding their groove.
The Warriors are four games behind the Los Angeles Clippers, whom they visit next week, in the race for the Pacific Division crown. So that possibility, which comes with a top-four seed, is still in the Warriors' grasp. Which is right where they should be.
Anyone who thought Golden State would run away with the Pacific probably has a Chris Mullin tramp stamp. But the Warriors are in striking distance even though the Clippers are the better team.
Golden State is 4 games behind Houston and Portland. The Trail Blazers, led by Oakland-native Damian Lillard, shocked everybody. But when the Rockets acquired Dwight Howard to go with James Harden, it was clear they would be vying for a top seed in the West. Sure enough, they hear the Warriors' footsteps.