Steve Kerr

Kerr hopes ‘lucky' Warriors take advantage of play-in tournament berth

NBC Universal, Inc.

With the Warriors officially locked into an NBA Play-In Tournament spot, coach Steve Kerr is ready for Golden State to make the most of an opportunity the league hasn't always offered -- but one they do know all too well.

Three years after the Warriors were ousted from the league's inaugural play-in tournament with tough losses to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies, they'll be back in it, and this time, they hope to advance to a first-round playoff series as the official No. 7 or No. 8 seed. 

As the current No. 9 seed with no shot at finishing the regular season inside the Western Conference's top six, Kerr doesn't take the tournament for granted.

"Yeah, I'm a fan. I think it's great," Kerr told reporters before the Warriors' game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at Chase Center. "I liked it that first year even though it cost us, you know. We were the eight seed after 82 games, and we didn't make the playoffs, but it's been great.

"It's been great for the league. [It] created a lot of excitement, kept more teams in it, created another kind of mini-race for six amongst the teams in that group. So, I think it's fantastic for the league and, you know, it hurt us that first year. I'm hoping it helps us this year. I mean, we're on the outside looking in if this were the normal, the old way.

"So, yeah, we're lucky it's here this year. I hope we can take advantage of it."

As it stands, the Warriors have their sights set on the West's No. 8 spot, since that position would help them avoid a potential one-and-done scenario in the play-in tournament bracket. If the regular season ended today, Golden State would face the No. 10 Los Angeles Lakers in a win-or-go-home play-in game.

But the Warriors are well aware that two play-in games instead of one isn't a guarantee, either. And as the regular season wraps up, Golden State will look to take advantage of whatever postseason opportunity it receives.

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