The Warriors won on Tuesday night, Utah lost, and the Warriors clinched their first playoff berth since 2007... voila!

I wasn't at Oracle, so I refer you to all others who were on site for your front-line coverage and analysis of the victory over Minnesota and the celebration afterwards. For my own flash thoughts...

  • Good for the Warriors, and if they want to crow that nobody believed in them, they can do whatever.

    (Though locally I think they were pretty much given every opportunity to compete for a spot -- I guessed they'd finish 42-40 and 9th in the West, so I under-estimated them but certainly gave them a chance at it.)

    Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) drives past Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried (35) in the first half of a NBA game at the Oracle Arena
    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) drives past Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried (35) in the first half of a NBA game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (Ray Chavez/Staff)

    They made it possible with their very strong start to the season, they survived some stumbles, and they absolutely deserve the shot to see what they can do in the NBA postseason.

  • They're still fighting to hold onto the 6th seed -- they currently lead Houston by one game for the slot, but the Rockets have the tie-breaker advantage so the Warriors must match Houston win for win in the last four games to keep the 6th slot, which, as we will explain, is reasonably important.

  • The GSW dominance of Minnesota is a decent guide for optimal Warriors playoff match-ups: The Warriors love facing teams with point guards and power forwards/centers who can't shoot (like Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams on Tuesday night).

    Non-scoring PF and PGs play right into the Warriors' hands; as we all know and sometimes the GSWs even admit, they have issues at times defending the PG and the PF.

    Even if it's a bad team, if that bad team has a PG and a PF/C that can score (think Sacramento with Isaiah Thomas and Patrick Patterson/DeMarcus Cousins), that team can beat the Warriors just about any night.

    If you can't attack the Warriors at their weakest spots defensively, they can cover up everything else, plus it frees Stephen Curry and David Lee to direct their energies to the offensive side, where they can be quite efficient.

    So, among the possible first-round match-ups, what team might have the biggest offensive holes at PF and PG?

    At this point, it looks like it would be Denver -- which lost F Danilo Gallinari for the season and has PG Ty Lawson still out with a foot injury; Lawson is due back at any time, but nobody knows if he'll be back at full speed or how dangerous he'll be during the rigors of the playoffs.

    (Updated: As always, I forgot MEMPHIS. Fixed: Right now, Denver is a half-game ahead of Memphis and 2 games ahead of the Clippers for the sixth slot, despite the injuries woes. So if the Warriors stay at 6, they're going to get either the Nuggets or Memphis in the first round, and Memphis is so big and so tough defensively, I don't think the Warriors want that match-up.)

    Andre Miller certainly can hurt anybody for stretches, but he's a much less dynamic PG than Lawson. Think of it this way: Would Curry rather chase Miller around for a bunch of games... or a full-speed Lawson? Easy answer.

    So all things considered, Denver's PG situation would be better for the Warriors than facing San Antonio's Tony Parker (if he's healthy) or Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (ever) in other potential first-round match-ups.

    And even though I'm as big an admirer of Denver F Kenneth Faried's game as anybody, it's not like he's a premium scorer and it's not like he went crazy offensively vs. Lee and the Warriors in Denver's 3-1 series victory this season.

    Again, Faried is no pushover -- especially as a defender/rebounder -- but the Warriors tend to prefer facing those guys than pure scoring big men.

    Against real post scorers like Al Jefferson or Tim Duncan, the GSWs have to start double-teaming and rotating and leaving open shooters.... and that usually isn't a good thing.

    Yes, San Antonio is a little iffy at the post spots other than Duncan -- the Warriors would love to see Tiago Splitter or Boris Diaw take as many shots as they want in a playoff series.

    But the Spurs are just such a great passing team that, if Parker is OK (who knows about Manu Ginobili), they can run the Warriors or just about any other non-elite defensive team off the court.

    (And Memphis has Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol -- a brutal match-up for the GSWs, who only like to defend one scoring big man at a time, and not always well even then.)

    Important point: I think the Warriors will struggle in the first two games on the road against all three of their likely first-round opponents -- San Antonio, OKC and Denver (OR MEMPHIS), and as I say Denver might be the most favorable match-up, I must also point out that the Nuggets are 35-3 at home this season.

    That, by the way, is the best home record in the league.

    Realistically, the lower-seeded team always has to get a split in Games 1 and 2 to have a shot in a first-round series, and in that thin Denver air, against that still very talented team, it will be very, very difficult to pull off. It'll be tough to steal a road game against Denver or any of the top three teams.

    But stylistically, Denver is the most similar of the three to the Warriors, and Denver is the one with more offensive question marks at PG and PF, and that means I'll say that the Nuggets would be the best option for the Warriors.

    Not a great option, but of the ones out there, the optimal one.