Turn the screen on, and the volume off because the Golden State Warriors are about to take on the Denver Nuggets and it’s one of TNT’s oft maligned “Players Only” nights. This is a tremendously impactful game tonight - with the winner coming out holding the upper hand with just five games left in the regular season.
Pardon the large block quote here, but GSOM member BitJam summarized the potential ramifications of tonight’s game well enough that it bears repeating.
If we don’t take care of business tonight then the head-to-head series will be tied and our overall records will be tied. If it stays that way then conference record will be used as a tie-breaker. IIUC, Denver is already up 1 over us in conference record. If we lose tonight then they will be up 2 in conference record. IOW, if we lose tonight then Denver will be current top seed and we will need more wins than Denver in the final five games in order to get the top seed back.
If we win tonight than the tie break will go to us so any combination of wins by us and losses by Denver (in the final 5 games) that adds up to 3 will result in us clinching the top seed. IOW, we would need 3 more wins if Denver wins out the final 5 games.
But if we lose tonight then it will flip around. Our overall records will be tied, our head-to-head will be tied and Denver will have the conference record tie-breaker. In that case we would need to win more of the final 5 games than Denver in order to get top seed back. Any combination of losses by us and wins by Denver that adds up to 5 will clinch the top seed for Denver. For example, if we lose two and they win 3 then the best we can do is tie so Denver clinches top seed.
It is not 100% symmetrical because if we win tonight then we will be up 2 in overall record but if Denver wins tonight then our overall records will be tied.
The Warriors have a pretty easy road through the end of the season: Lakers and Cavs back-to-back (including GSOM Night!); one potential playoff opponent game against the Clippers, and then a nice soft ending with road games against the Pelicans and Grizzlies.
Denver? Not so much:
Denver is starting a tough 5 game stretch as they go back home for San Antonio and Portland and then head to Portland and Utah.— Tim Roye (@warriorsvox) April 2, 2019
And just to get your playlist rolling, here’s some solid punk rock to fill the muted spaces in your life while we watch this game: