NBA playoff picture 2023: How Warriors’ fate to be decided on last day

How Warriors’ playoff fate will be determined Sunday originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Western Conference playoff picture remains cloudy entering the final day of the 2022-23 NBA regular season.

But for the Warriors, it’s simple: Beat the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center and earn a top-six playoff seed in the West. A win Sunday means Golden State would avoid the play-in tournament altogether and either land the No. 5 or No. 6 playoff seed.

If Golden State loses to Portland, things become more complicated. The Warriors could fall to the No. 7 or No. 8 spot with a loss, and would have to survive the play-in tournament to earn the right to play a best-of-seven playoff series.

Per Basketball Reference, the Warriors are most likely to finish the day as the No. 6 seed (44 percent), followed by the No. 5 seed (35.4 percent), the No. 8 seed (12.6 percent) and the No. 7 seed (8.0 percent).

The game most Warriors fans should pay attention to — aside from the matchup in Portland — is the Los Angeles Clippers’ clash with the Phoenix Suns at 12:30 p.m. PT. The Suns will rest their starters, just like the Blazers listed an astounding nine players out against the Warriors.

If the Clippers and Warriors both win — which appears likely on paper — LA would grab the No. 5 seed and face No. 4 Phoenix in the first round, and Golden State would be the No. 6 seed and go against the No. 3 Sacramento Kings.

If the Warriors win and the Clippers lose, Golden State would secure the No. 5 seed, and either LA or the New Orleans Pelicans would slide into the No. 6 spot.

RELATED: Looney has cemented himself as Warriors’ shadow centerpiece

If the Warriors lose to the Blazers, they still could earn the No. 6 spot if the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Pelicans and the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers, or if the Pelicans beat the Wolves, the Jazz beat the Lakers and the Suns beat the Clippers.

Have a headache yet? Let’s just get these games started.

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