Once again, the Warriors won’t have any of their four All-Stars on the court tonight against the Utah Jazz. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are probably due back soon, and Stephen Curry will be back from his MCL injury eventually. Although Draymond Green was listed as probable yesterday, he has since gotten the flu, and will sit out tonight’s game.
We’ll see a lot of the Warriors’ supporting cast again, and hopefully some Quinn Cook fireworks. But there probably won’t be much to take away from the team’s performance today.
This game has playoff significance: The Jazz are currently the eighth seed in the Western Conference, half a game behind the seventh-place Timberwolves and one game ahead of the ninth-place Nuggets. They’re currently slated to face the first-seed Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.
The Jazz are better than their 41-32 record. They are currently sixth in the league in net rating per Basketball Reference, and have been extremely dangerous when healthy. Led by defensive anchor Rudy Gobert, rookie phenom Donovan Mitchell, and veteran swingman Joe Ingles, the Jazz are a tough, slow, defensive-minded squad, and are currently favored in tonight’s matchup by six points.
The Warriors will likely be without Stephen Curry for some or all of the first round, so who they play there matters quite a bit. Playing against the Jazz, who have historically given the Warriors a run for their money, would not be great. It looks like neither the Nuggets nor Clippers will become the seventh seed with the season winding down, so I’d most like to face the Pelicans, who are currently sixth. Facing either the Spurs with a healthy Kawhi Leonard and the Timberwolves with a healthy Jimmy Butler could be scary as well.
Let’s just hope the Warriors stay healthy today. They can’t afford any more injuries.