The Golden State Warriors are hosting the New Orleans Pelicans in the penultimate game of the season, but it doesn’t mean anything. The Dubs will be in the exact same position with a win as they will be with a loss.
Who: Golden State Warriors (37-33) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (31-39)
When: 6:30 p.m. PT
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: ESPN (available on fuboTV)
Projected starting lineups:
Warriors: Who knows
Pelicans: Eric Bledsoe, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Naji Marshall, James Johnson, Willy Hernangómez
Warriors: Beat the Suns 122-116 — 4-1 in their last 5 games
Pelicans: Lost to the Mavs 125-107 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
No matter what happens in this game — and any other games — the Warriors season comes down to Sunday, when they finish off the year against the Memphis Grizzlies.
If the Dubs win that game, they finish No. 8, and have an advantageous play-in scenario. If they lose that game, they finish No. 9, and have a disadvantageous play-in scenario.
Again: today’s game doesn’t matter. All that matters is Sunday.
So the story today is to not get hurt. I presume the Warriors will either not play Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green, or play them very sparingly. That would be smart.
Players to watch
Warrior to watch: Eric Paschall.
Paschall is expected to return to the lineup on Friday, where he’ll play his first game since April 2, and just his third game since March 15. I don’t anticipate Paschall being a part of the postseason rotation, but Steve Kerr is not always predictable. It will be interesting to see how well Paschall plays, and if he looks ready to contribute in the playoffs.
Pelican to watch: Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
The Pelicans are eliminated from the playoffs, and in shut it down mode. So there aren’t a lot of options, but I quite enjoy watching NAW, New Orleans’ shifty second-year guard.
Matchup to watch: Jordan Bell vs. Everyone.
Jordan Bell is back, and he’ll be available for this game. With the Warriors not needing to win, it seems likely that Bell gets a lot of minutes. Torch everyone, I say. Go for 50. Hennything is possible. Let’s go.
Keys to victory
- Don’t get hurt. Don’t get hurt. Do. Not. Get. Hurt.
- Have some fun and play with carefree energy.
- Let Eric Paschall and Jordan Bell (and, if he’s playing, Jordan Poole) cook.
Those aren’t really keys to victory so much as things I’d like to see happen ... but when victory is meaningless, that’s what we end up with.