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NBA season 2020-21: 5 reasons why the Golden State Warriors won’t make the playoffs

The Golden State Warriors might not make it to the playoffs this season.
The Golden State Warriors might not make it to the playoffs this season.
ANALYST
Modified 30 Mar 2021
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The Golden State Warriors are currently 10th in the NBA Western Conference with a 22-24 record. They were the first team to be knocked out of the reckoning for the playoffs last season, but have a decent chance of making it in the 2020-21 NBA season. While qualifying directly might become a bit too difficult, the Golden State Warriors look set to qualify for the play-in tournament and might end up taking the longer route.

Regardless, a number of reasons suggest that the Warriors might as well find it difficult to make it to the playoffs this season. They have been unlucky with injuries, and have a young supporting cast that might not have a long-term future at the Warriors. In this article, we look at five reasons why the Golden State Warriors will fail to make it to the playoffs during the current season.

5 reasons why the Golden State Warriors will not qualify for the playoffs

#1 Over-reliance on Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors’ talisman Stephen Curry has been in frightening form this season. Despite the number of issues that the Golden State Warriors have faced, they have been able to count on Stephen Curry’s consistent shooting and passing abilities. It is something the Golden State Warriors simply cannot make the playoffs without.

Curry had a slightly underwhelming 2019-20 NBA season, but his shooting efficiency of almost 60% means that most of what the Warriors do in offense goes through him. This is true to such a huge extent that the Golden State Warriors have lost 6 of the 7 NBA games in which he has not featured this season.

#2 Injury to Klay Thompson

The emergence of multiple top-heavy teams in the NBA means that losing one half of the “Splash brothers” was always going to be a difficult proposition. Draymond Green has had his ups and downs, although in recent weeks his form has been flawless.

Klay Thompson has been ruled out until the next season.
Klay Thompson has been ruled out until the next season.
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However, adding Klay Thompson to the equation would have given the Golden State Warriors enough firepower to comfortably make the playoffs. Instead, they have had to rely on a number of young players and have come up short on various occasions.

#3 Emergence of surprise playoff contenders

The 2020-21 NBA season has already seen its fair share of surprises, especially in the Western Conference. Both the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns were expected to emerge as playoff contenders. However, the two teams have taken the league by storm, and currently sit atop the conference.

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets - Game Two
Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets - Game Two

Other teams such as the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans have all emerged as worthy playoff contenders, with the second half of the season expected to bring things right down to the wire. In such a scenario, the Golden State Warriors perhaps find themselves a couple of positions worse off than expected.

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#4 Failure to improve the supporting cast

The Golden State Warriors have multiple young stars looking to find their feet in the NBA. The likes of James Wiseman, Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole represent a young supporting cast that might not have a long-term future for the Golden State Warriors.

In such a scenario, the Warriors were expected to move for reinforcements before the NBA trade deadline, but that did not happen. The likes of Victor Oladipo, Bradley Beal and D’Angelo Russell were all linked, but the Golden State Warriors' failure to improve their roster might well come back to bite them as the season progresses.

#5 Lack of depth in defense

Fans have already witnessed first-hand what a couple of injuries can do to the Warriors’ overall defense. The Golden State Warriors have seen themselves get rolled over in the absence of Draymond Green and Stephen Curry this season, with the likes of James Wiseman, Eric Paschall and Damion Lee all getting criticized for a lack of defensive effort.

The Golden State Warriors do not have a lot of defensive depth.
The Golden State Warriors do not have a lot of defensive depth.

Overall, the Golden State Warriors have defended well at full-strength. However, a lack of depth means that they might fall short regularly, especially in the case of injuries to the likes of Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 01:01 IST
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