Kornacki's projection gives Warriors ‘very good' seeding news


For the first few months of the 2021-22 NBA season, the conversation surrounding the Warriors was whether they could challenge the Phoenix Suns for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

But a freefall over the last 40 games has the Warriors in a completely different position.

Now, with six regular-season games remaining entering their matchup against the Suns on Wednesday night at Chase Center, the Warriors are trying to hold on to the No. 3 seed and potentially even a top-four seed in the West.

Despite the dark cloud hovering over the Warriors, NBC News National Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki provided a positive update to the team and a panicked fanbase.

"The good news for Warriors fans is despite all the struggles they've had over the last week is, our model still says 100 percent they will make the playoffs, still says there's a 70 percent chance that the Warriors stay where they are, that they hold off Dallas, that they hold off Utah, they hold off Denver for that matter and they end up with the three-seed in the first round," Kornacki said on "Warriors Pregame Live" on NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday night.

"There's also a 13 percent chance that they fall to the fourth spot, so basically what that means is, between the third spot and the fourth spot, those are the two they are in play for here that would have home-court advantage, there is an 83 percent chance that the Warriors end up in one of those two spots and hang on to home-court advantage," Kornacki continue. "There's a 17 percent chance here that in the last week, things go so wrong that they end up down there in the fifth spot and don't have home-court advantage, obviously that would change the situation dramatically for them."

The Warriors enter Wednesday's action with a one-game lead over the fourth-seeded Mavericks and a three-game lead over the fifth-seeded Jazz in the Western Conference standings. Golden State caught a big break Tuesday night when Utah blew a 25-point lead and lost to Paul George and the LA Clippers at Crypto.com Arena.

While Kornacki's model favors the Warriors, he did note that they have two more back-to-back sets, which usually leads to coach Steve Kerr resting players like Draymond Green and Klay Thompson in one end of the back-to-back. That could hurt Golden State as they try to hold on to home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

One thing working in the Warriors' favor is that the Mavericks play four straight road games, including Wednesday's game in Cleveland. However, the Mavericks own the tiebreaker over the Warriors, meaning that if both teams finish with the same record, Dallas would get the higher seed.

"For the Warriors, it's been a rough week here," Kornacki said. "It's been a bit of a strange up-and-down season, but the chances, at least according to our computer, of the Warriors hanging on to that three-spot still very good. The chances they lose home-court altogether not non-existent but only 17 percent."

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The Warriors don't know when Steph Curry will return from his foot injury, Green is struggling to regain his form and Andrew Wiggins hasn't lived up to his All-Star Game starter status over the last month. But based on Kornacki's projections, Golden State remains in solid position to hang on to home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which begin in the middle of April.

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