Call it hope or the teasing delay of inevitability, but there is reason to believe the Warriors could pull this off. There are a few factors that, at the very least, keep you watching. For some, it may be cause to sleep in their “We Believe” shirts.
• Houston, which visits Denver on Sunday, still have something to play for. They are tied with San Antonio for the No. 3 seed, the loser getting the No. 5 seed. Whoever gets the No. 3, would get Phoenix and have homecourt advantage. The No. 5 seed will Utah, owner of the West’s best home record. Plus, homecourt advantage isn’t a lock. Houston needs to beat Denver to stay ahead of Utah for homecourt advantage in the first round.
• Denver will be concluding a back-to-back. Houston has been in Denver chilling, waiting for the Nuggets and getting used to the altitude. Denver is 5-12 in the second game of back-to-backs. Just two were in Denver, and the Nuggets split them.
• Should Houston win at Denver, the Warriors would need to then win at Phoenix. The Suns would be pretty much locked in to the No. 6. The Lakers have already won the Pacific. The are too far ahead for No. 7 Dallas to catch. The Suns could use some rest. This would be a good time rest up their old heads: Steve Nash, Shaq, and Grant Hill. Raja Bell has been nagged by injuries and Amare’s knees are always a subject of concern. I wouldn’t expect Phoenix to start Brian Skinner and Gordan Giracek, but I would be surprised if they fought to the death. If the Warriors are on their A game, it would be reasonable for Phoenix to wilt.
What all this means? Nothing on the court. But it could add to your stress levels.