I’m going to say the very obvious: the Golden State Warriors could really use a win tonight when they host the New Orleans Pelicans.
Like ... really could use one. Not because we need to see them play well, though that would be nice. Not because it’s a great time to test themselves against a good team, though that would also be nice. And not even because we’d like to see them take a step towards finding rhythm, momentum, and chemistry, though that would be pretty darn nice as well.
It’s a huge game in the Western Conference standings. With just a handful of games remaining — the Dubs have just six — the NBA’s Western Conference is still a total mess in the standings department.
Case in point: yesterday I posted an article updating everyone on the standings and the playoff picture. The Warriors were the sixth seed.
About five hours later, the Dubs — who weren’t even playing — had fallen into the play-in tournament, with everything around them looking considerably different.
They have a chance to reverse that. Golden State was leap frogged by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who followed up their impressive road win over the Warriors on Sunday with an equally-impressive road victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. They’re tied in the standings with the Warriors at 39-37, but the Wolves have the tiebreaker.
With a win tonight, Golden State would jump in front of Minny again, as the Timberwolves have a day off. But with a loss? Well, the Warriors are playing the Pelicans, who just happen to be the team immediately behind them in the standings. With a loss, the Dubs fall to the eighth seed, and in the process lose the tiebreaker to New Orleans. Suddenly the prospects of escaping the play-in tournament and starting the postseason as the fifth or sixth seed would look very grim.
So win, Warriors. It’s in everyone’s best interest. Except the Pelicans’.