Warriors Make Playoffs If Steph Curry Returns Soon, FiveThirtyEight Says

Playoffs?! We're talking about playoffs?! You kidding me?! Playoffs?!

I just hope they can win a game.

It always was going to be a challenge for the Warriors to make the NBA playoffs -- an achievable one, definitely, but it never was a certainty. After Steph Curry broke his left hand in an 11-point home loss to the Suns on Wednesday night that dropped Golden State's record to 1-3, that uncertainty has morphed into serious doubt.

But if you're searching for some optimism, look no further than FiveThirtyEight.

As crazy as it might sound, FiveThirtyEight currently gives the Warriors a 54 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason. However, those odds will fluctuate depending on how much time Curry misses due to injury. He could be out as short as a couple weeks, or as long as a few months.

FiveThirtyEight's model projects the Warriors to lose about one-half win per week that Curry is sidelined. Therefore, as long as he returns within five weeks or less, the model still gives Golden State better than 50 percent odds to make the playoffs. However, any length of absence beyond five weeks, and the Dubs will be behind the eight-ball.

So, according to FiveThirtyEight, the Warriors' playoff hopes aren't completely dashed. At least, not yet. Of course, that assumes that nothing else major will go wrong, which seems extremely unlikely given what has happened in the last six games Golden State has played, and the fact that there are still 78 more regular-season games left on the schedule.

Klay Thompson already was going to miss most -- if not all -- of the current season recovering from an ACL tear, and with Curry now expected to miss multiple weeks at a minimum, there's even less reason for the Warriors to rush their star shooting guard back. Face it, he's not playing this year.

Draymond Green has dealt with a nagging elbow injury dating back multiple seasons, and was seen grimacing while reaching for his back Wednesday night. He just signed his lucrative contract extension, so he can afford to tend to those aches in a non-contract year. And the Warriors can now afford it, too.

Kevon Looney has a neuropathic condition tied to a hamstring injury that has limited him throughout training camp and to only one game so far this season. The Warriors got a steal on the three-year contract they signed Looney to in the offseason. At this point, they need him far more for the final two years of that contract than the first.

Sure, Curry's injury wasn't the worst possible outcome, and he might be back sooner rather than later, perhaps even early enough to salvage a postseason berth.

[RELATED: Haberstroh: Warriors should punt season with Steph injured]

But don't count on the Warriors winning a playoff spot. They're having a hard enough time just winning a single game as it is.

Copyright C
Contact Us