It’s going to be a wild finish in the Western conference, but the Warriors are coasting across the finish line with nothing much on the line tonight except a vague sense of wanting to “find a rhythm.”
Nate Parham already did an excellent job of previewing this game, and the resultant ripples that would come from either a win or loss... but let’s just simplify things and say that the Warriors don’t necessarily need - or even want - a win tonight.
Here’s Monte Poole with the condensed version of what tonight’s game result will mean:
IF the Warriors win at Utah on Tuesday, all six teams remain in play.
Given the amount of uncertainty here, I think it’s best to just stop at that for now. There’s a full slate of games tomorrow night, and we really won’t have much more clarity until those games are finished.
Looks like we don’t have any new surprises here, folks. Damian Jones is the biggest question mark after rolling his ankle in the previous game against the Suns, but he should be available.
Injury report for tomorrow night's game at Utah: Damian Jones (left mid foot sprain) is probable. Stephen Curry (left MCL sprain), Andre Iguodala (left knee soreness) & Patrick McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) are out.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) April 9, 2018
Beyond injuries, I’m guessing that it’s incredibly likely for the Warriors to rest their stars pretty heavily in this game. Even the clipboard-smashing coach Steve Kerr has to realize that that elusive rhythm is only so valuable. It wasn’t lack of rhythm but lack of players that have hurt this team.
Give some love to the Utah Jazz as well, who are actually neck-and-neck with the Warriors in this regard:
New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns are most injured teams in the NBA to this point of the season. Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder have been healthiest so far. pic.twitter.com/Vo7HJzypP6— Man Games Lost NBA (@ManGamesLostNBA) April 2, 2018
It will be a relatively quiet night around the league, with just six games scheduled ahead of tomorrow night’s insanity.
As we watch what is likely to be a less than amazing performance from the Warriors, let’s just try and remember that the Warriors are built for the playoffs, not a meaningless last game of the regular season. The Jazz, meanwhile, are fighting for important playoff seeding, have won five straight games - all but one of those by double digits - and are (rightly) heavily favored tonight.
I won’t blame you if you are playing Ghost Recon by 8:30 tonight. Heck, add me and we can play together.
Warriors 101 - Jazz 100
(because I believe in miracles)