In the all-important race for first place in the NBA’s Western Conference at the end of December, the Golden State Warriors enter tonight’s game in Portland just a half game behind the conference-leading Denver Nuggets and tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While the Thunder are idle tonight, both the Warriors and Nuggets will be on the road tonight with an opportunity to gain a game late in the year as 2019 rapidly approaches.
For some people — even some members of the Golden State of Mind community, it seems — losing ground more than six months away from the NBA Finals really really matters; somehow, each and every regular season game has become a must-win. For others, this is just yet another opportunity to clean some things up in preparation for games that actually do matter.
I definitely find myself in the latter camp — I’m more amused by the chatter than anything else.
Draymond’s washed takes in December. Klay shooting slump. *insert team here* in 4 over the Warriors takes. A+ level trolling tweets. This is now a holiday tradition in NBA twitter and I love it.— BEYONCÉ KNOWLES-CARTER (@negronoseszn) December 26, 2018
Nevertheless, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you: there is a level of gravity around tonight’s game — losing to the Blazers twice in a row would be ... weird? Like, there’s not much you can really glean from a December game in which one team is clearly just going through the motions ... but it seems like they should be able to get up for this game?
It's still only December. The Warriors are still the most talented and playoff-tested team in the league. But given the results of the last two games and their road struggles this season, tonight's game in Portland feels like one of their bigger non-playoff matchups in a while.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) December 29, 2018
I don’t know — hard to know what to say now. But I’d prefer a win to a loss tonight.
Feel free to drop your thoughts about the state of the team or observations of tonight’s game in the comments below.