Following tonight’s loss to the Pistons, the Cavs are 42-21- having played to a .500 record over their last 10 games. The return of J.R. Smith bolsters the team’s depth, but Tyronn Lue’s squad continues to miss Kevin Love‘s presence in their rotation. The Celtics aren’t far behind Cleveland’s trail, sitting two games behind the Cavs for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
It’s been a similar story for Golden State, whose fourth quarter struggles have been well-publicized. The Warriors hardly have a comfortable hold of the Western Conference’s #1 seed, as San Antonio is riding a torrid 9-1 streak. The Warriors have long clinched a playoff spot, but Steve Kerr said he isn’t obsessed with the top seed.
“We still have the No. 1 seed, but I won’t run guys ragged to get it,” Kerr told Connor Letourneau of SF Gate. “We have to manage this stretch right here and get through this week.”
Fox Sports editor Brett Pollakoff has recently predicted the Spurs to overtake Golden State for the top seed, citing the Warriors’ difficult schedule through the rest of the regular season.
“The Warriors lead the Spurs by 2.5 games in the standings but are playing without Kevin Durant for at least a little while longer and have an absolutely brutal schedule this week, which ends with a game in San Antonio on Saturday,” Pollakoff writes. “The Spurs might be able to make up some ground during that stretch and are capable of playing consistently enough to overtake Golden State for the West’s No. 1 seed.”
Five Thirty Eight currently gives the Warriors a 79% chance of hanging onto the #1 seed, and Cleveland a 40% chance. We want to hear your opinion: Do you think each team will hold onto the #1 seed? If not, what will get in their way? Are the injuries to Kevin Durant and Kevin Love ultimately too much to overcome?
Let us know what you think in the comments section!