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National Basketball Association (NBA) league executives know a thing or two when it comes to teams making the playoffs. For the coming season, former Memphis Grizzlies executive John Hollinger feels the Golden State Warriors are still up there. In fact, he believes the Dubs can finish higher than the retooled Los Angeles Lakers in the postseason.

Even though the Warriors lost Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Demarcus Cousins and Shaun Livingston, they remain formidable. A big reason for that is because Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are still around. They also added some young players like D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein as replacements to Durant and company. With that group around, the Warriors still have the tools to make a serious run this NBA season.

The next question is how far they can go. For Hollinger, the Warriors will enter the NBA playoffs as the no. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Despite its improvement, he sees the Lakers finishing at no. 5. If this holds true, the Warriors will enjoy homecourt in that potential series.

However, Hollinger did add a couple of prerequisites. That includes adding another player who could be bought out at some point this NBA season. There is also the case of Thompson. The 29-year-old guard is still recovering and there is no word on when he will return. His father, Mychal Thompson, feels his soon could be back in the latter part of the 2019-20 season. But three-time NBA champion's return will depend on doctor's orders. Rushing him back would be senseless since it will be high risk. Russell has been tasked to fill up the slack for now.

Finally, there is the matter of keeping Curry and Green healthy. The two stars will lead the Dubs charge this season and losing either or both will be disastrous. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knows he cannot afford to lose the two stars. He will likely keep a close watch and preserve Curry and Green to make sure they are fit until the playoffs.

As for his call on the Lakers, his prediction is up for debate. LeBron James and Anthony Davis make a pretty mean team. Their recent preseason performance is an indication of things to come. However, most know that the Lakers are saving their best in what should be their drive for NBA redemption.