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NBA -- Warriors pass another mental hurdle on the road to playoffs


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES -- After clinching the Pacific Division and the No.1 seed in the Western Conference with still eight games left in the regular season, the Golden State Warriors have nothing much to look forward to other than the playoffs.

That?s pretty much how the month of April has shaped for the Golden State Warriors. At 61-13, they're head and shoulders above the rest of the NBA and since the All Star break, head coach Steve Kerr has been resting certain players throughout his roster at key portions of the schedule to ensure a full and healthy team come playoff time.

Despite having little to play for standings-wise, the Warriors have continued to win. And in the process, they have managed to clear a couple of mental hurdles that could prove to be important come playoffs.

Last March they blew out the Grizzles in Memphis, 107-84. The Grizzlies were the only team in the league the Warriors haven?t beaten. With their huge frontcourt of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, Memphis is seen as a team that could give the Warriors are a tough playoff series.

After dispatching the Grizz, the Warriors handled the Clippers, rallying form 17 points down to snatch a 110-106 decision at Staples Center on March 31.

As the regular season wraps up, one more challenge awaits the Warriors -- a meeting with the San Antonio Spurs this Sunday, April 5. The season series is tied at 1-1, but the main story is that the Warriors have not won a regular season game in San Antonio since 1997. That streak has been going on for almost 18 years. Also, the Spurs have been playing excellent basketball and have won eight of their last 10.

The Spurs are now widely regarded as the team that will give the Warriors the best challenge. So, it will be interesting to see how coach Kerr elects to play this game.

Will the team make a statement like they did against the Grizzles and Clippers? Or will Kerr elect to rest certain players on the road, and not give the Spurs a good look at the team so close to playoff time?


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Jason Aniel.


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