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The race to the 2021 NBA playoffs is inching closer and closer, and the battle for seeding remains as tight as ever.
Only four games separate the No. 6 and No. 10 seeds in the Western Conference standings with less than a month until the postseason, which begins May 18 with the Play-In Tournament followed by the first round on May 22.
The Golden State Warriors (29-30) are firmly in the mix, currently tied for ninth in the Western Conference -- one game behind the No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies and three games behind the No. 7 Dallas Mavericks. The San Antonio Spurs are tied with the Warriors for ninth, but Golden State holds the tiebreaker after winning the season series 2-1.
Behind Stephen Curry's scorching-hot month of April, the Warriors are suddenly a team no one wants to face. Curry is averaging 35.6 points per game in 11 games this month with the Warriors going 6-5. The sharpshooter has made at least 10 3-pointers in four of his last six games, culminating in his 49-point performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 19.
So, where do things currently stand for Steve Kerr's club, and what may lie ahead? Here's what you need to know about the Warriors' push for the playoffs.
What is the format for the 2021 NBA Playoffs?
The NBA Play-In Tournament is a new addition to the 2021 NBA season. Here's how it works: The No. 7 through No. 10 seeds in both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference qualify for the Play-In Tournament. The top six seeds in each conference automatically advance to the traditional playoff bracket.
The Play-In Tournament begins May 18 and consists of two rounds for each conference with the following format:
No. 7 seed vs. No. 8 seed (winner earns No. 7 seed; loser to Round 2)
No. 9 seed vs. No. 10 seed (winner to Round 2; loser eliminated)
Loser of 7-8 vs. Winner of 9-10 (winner earns No. 8 seed; loser eliminated)
Once the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds are decided for each conference, the first round will begin May 22 with the traditional format: seven-game series featuring the 1-8, 2-7, 3-6 and 4-5 matchups.
Where are the Warriors in the Western Conference standings?
The Warriors currently own the No. 9 seed in West, tied with the Spurs and just behind the Grizzlies and Mavericks. The Portland Trail Blazers (32-26) and Los Angeles Lakers (35-23) are a half game and 3.5 games, respectively, ahead of the Play-In Tournament. The Utah Jazz (44-15), Phoenix Suns (42-16), LA Clippers (42-19) and Denver Nuggets (38-20) hold the top four seeds.
GB From No. 1
6. Portland Trail Blazers
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. Memphis Grizzlies
9. Golden State Warriors
10. San Antonio Spurs
11. New Orleans Pelicans
Who would the Warriors play in the first round?
If the season ended today, the Warriors would face the Spurs in the 9-10 matchup of the Play-In Tournament. The Warriors would host the Spurs at Chase Center for one game, with the winner advancing to play the loser of the 7-8 matchup between the Mavericks and Grizzlies. The highest seed the Warriors could possibly earn as of today is No. 8.
Here are the West matchups if the season ended today and the higher seeds won each play-in game:
No. 1 Utah Jazz
No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies
No. 2 Phoenix Suns
No. 7 Dallas Mavericks
No. 3 LA Clippers
No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers
No. 4 Denver Nuggets
No. 5 Los Angeles Lakers
What is the Warriors' remaining schedule?
The Warriors have 13 regular-season games left, and their remaining schedule lines up favorably. Nine of the final 13 games are at home and eight of the 13 games are against teams currently outside of the playoffs or Play-In Tournament.
Here are Golden State's next five games:
Friday, April 23
Sunday, April 25
Tuesday, April 27
Thursday, April 29
Saturday, May 1
What are the Warriors' playoff odds?
The Warriors currently have +10000 odds to win the 2021 NBA championship -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
Those odds are tied with the Atlanta Hawks for 13th-best in the NBA. In the Western Conference, seven teams have better title odds than the Warriors: the Lakers (+350), Clippers (+500), Jazz (+800), Suns (+2000), Nuggets (+3300), Mavericks (+4000) and Trail Blazers (+6000).
We'll update this article as the postseason nears, so stay tuned for the latest on the Warriors' playoff chances.
Logan Reardon contributed to this story.