The Warriors played really hard last night (a 103-94 loss to the Jazz) but in the end, it was too much Paul Millsap and too much Monta Ellis that did in the Warriors. I hate seeing games like these from Ellis (4-22 FG, 6 turnovers). When his shot is off like it was last night, I wish he’d recognize that and adjust his game. I fear that Ellis can’t adjust his game. He’s had far too many games this season like last night. Keeping in mind Ellis has played 63 games this season, take a look at the following stats:
Under 40% FG: 21 games
Under 38%: 18 games
Under 35%: 9 games
Under 30%: 7 games
Under 25%: 5 games
Under 20%: 2 games
Under 15%: 1 game
I don’t like those stats. I’ll let you decide for yourself how you feel about them.
Enough about last night’s game. The Warriors finish the regular season tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers (50-31, game starts at 7:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area). The Blazers will play hard; they want this win because a win clinches the sixth seed in the West for the playoffs. A loss could possibly drop the Blazers to seventh. However, the Blazers, who trail only the Warriors this season in injury bad luck, will be playing without All-Star Brandon Roy (torn meniscus) and star forward LaMarcus Aldridge (flu). So, it’s a winnable game for the Warriors.
But I don’t think a win is the best thing for the Warriors at this point. I’m not saying the players should throw the game (because they wouldn’t), I’m just saying the benefits of a loss outweigh the benefits of a win tonight. Right now, with one game remaining, the Warriors are 25-56. If they lose, they’ll finish 25-57 and will likely be tied with Sacramento (25-57, no games remaining) and Washington (25-56 with tonight’s game against Indiana left to play) for the third position in the NBA draft lottery.
If the three teams finish with identical records, they would each receive the average of the lottery combinations allotted to the teams slotted in the third, fourth and fifth spots in the lottery. In that scenario, the Warriors would have a 24.8 percent chance of landing one of the top two picks in this year’s draft. If you covet John Wall or Evan Turner, or even just the trade value of a top two pick, this is something Warriors fans should care about. Because if the Warriors win tonight, they’ll finish with a 26-56 record and would end up in the sixth slot in the draft lottery or tied with the Pistons (26-55 with tonight’s game against the Timberwolves left to play) for sixth. In that scenario, the Warriors would have either a 13.4 percent chance of getting one of the top two picks (if they finish alone in sixth) or 11.3 percent (if they finish in a tie with the Pistons).
Tonight, the Warriors could possibly beat the depleted Blazers, even on the road. But a loss would probably be a better result for the team.