Warriors will come up short for the top seed in the West

After the All-Star breaks traditional marks the second half of the National Basketball Association regular season. At this point in the season there are only 24 games left to be played. In these final games, teams are not just fighting for the chance to make it to the playoffs, but also to solidify their seeding.

This year the Golden State Warriors have found themselves in a marathon fight against the Houston Rockets for the top seed in the Western Conference. The top seed is valuable because in theory, it provides a smooth path to the NBA Finals.

The Warriors are currently stuck as the number two seed looking up to the Houston Rockets seemly to slowly take off with the top seed in the Western Conference.

The Warriors won the first three games of the second half of this regular season, but they still sit at a half of a game deficit with a 47-14 record behind the Houston Rockets record at 47 wins and 13 loses.

I predict the Warriors will have an overall finish of 21-3 record. The losses would come from playing the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the series finale with the Utah Jazz.

These three teams will give the Warriors the most trouble due to the high attention to detail of their defense that these 2017- 2018 Warriors have been lacking.

Compared to last year, the Warriors had a defensive rating of 100, now it’s 114 which is worse from year’s prior. A defensive rating or defensive efficiency is a statistic used in basketball to measure an individual player’s efficiency at preventing the other team from scoring points.

According to NBA statistics, defensive efficiency is broken down by “the number of points allowed per 100 possessions by a team. For a player, it is the number of points per 100 possessions that the team allows while that individual player is on the court.”

Coach Steve Kerr believed the reason for this drop in defense was simply said in an article Kerr has simple fix for Warriors first quarter struggles by Chris Biderman, “We’re just not trying hard enough, honestly,” You can see in they way they play and it seems they are giving a lack of effort in their team defense.

Kerr then went on to explain the defensive specifics in depth: “And what I mean by that is box outs.” As he Refers to their interior defense.

He continues to say “A shot goes up, you have two choices. You can either go find a guy and hit him, or you can turn and watch the ball. And one’s the easy way out, and we’re taking the easy way out.Steve Kerr goes on his effort points of not guarding or any sense of defensive ergency. As a fan you see it as clear as day now.

Despite on and off injuries between the Rockets’ two star players James Harden and Chris Paul, they maintain striking distance of the Warriors for that top seed. Now that they are healthy, the Houston Rockets are just too hot to be stopped. Since Harden and Paul have played together, in 33 games they have been 30-3. It’s possible they may stumble a game or two against the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, the Houston Rockets are blended and peaking at the right time

It will be a dog fight for the top seed in the Western Conference, and unfortunately the the Warriors are going to fall short for it. This scenario of the Warriors not getting the top seed was set, because the Warriors are reaping the seeds in which they have sown for themselves. They have this recurring theme of playing bad defensive and getting careless with the ball. There were a few games that they had the lead, but they let it slip out of their hand.

For example, in the season’s opener, Warriors lost to the Rockets when they allowed the Rockets to come back in the fourth quarter due to a lack of defense and an ineffective offense that only mustered 20 points in the final quarter.

Due to these different tales this season there will be a different fairy tale ending resulting in a new team on top of the Western Conference.