It's been a while since Golden State Warriors fans have had a meaningful game in April worth paying attention to, but tonight's game against the San Antonio Spurs is about the closest thing to "meaningful" we've seen in a few years.
With a tank loss, the Warriors would be tied for the seventh-worst record in the league, which would broken by a league drawing to determine their chances of keeping the lottery pick they owe the Utah Jazz from the Marcus Williams trade. With a win, it becomes far more likely that they would finish the season in 8th place at 24-42, which would leave them with significantly diminished chances to keep their lottery pick.
Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group has already broken down what's at stake in tonight's game regarding the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery.
If the Warriors were to win the tiebreaker, they'd have a 72.5 percent chance of keeping the pick...Golden State, slotted at No. 8, would have a 12.4 percent chance of moving up into the top three, which would need to happen in order for the Warriors to keep the pick. If the Warriors were to lose the tiebreaker, their chances of keeping the pick diminish considerably.
The problem is that tonight's opponent, the Spurs, have sent their big three home with little to play for with first place in the Western Conference and home court advantage until the NBA Finals locked up. And their starting lineup against the Suns reflected that:
It's great to see some of those young guys getting some run; I, for one, am considerably less excited about the prospect of the Warriors beating said youngsters.
Here's hoping for an entertaining loss that might help the Warriors in the future.