The Golden State Warriors lost to the Sacramento Kings 98-93. Quinn Cook, Zaza Pachulia, Nick Young, Kevon Looney, and Draymond Green started. That’s the gist of the entire game on Friday night.
We’re in mid-March and the Warriors are losing games to the Kings, barely squeaking by against the Los Angeles Lakers, and against the Phoenix Suns tomorrow, probably are only slightly favored to win. The joke is that despite the lack of urgency and overall tension of these games, the Warriors are still getting contribution that may matter down the line. Draymond Green shootings 3s that confidently, even the hilariously deep one late in the game down 1, could be helpful when those are needed against a trapping Houston Rockets defense. An aggressive Andre Iguodala, both offensively and defensively, reassures us there’s more than enough left in the tank. And the Quinn Cook shooting display, 10-13, 5-7 from 3, should seal his spot on the playoff roster.
But who are we kidding? Draymond and Iguodala has shown up each of the last 3 seasons when it mattered most, there’s nothing a game in March against the Kings will change that. If Quinn Cook or any part of the bench are used heavily in the postseason, that will likely mean some type of injury for Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant which would be a larger issue in itself.
In the beginning of one of the most lackadaisical seasons of all time, I cautioned against any of the results given the lack of effort and energy from the stars. They’ve now taken it to the next level. After the game, Draymond fully admitted that everyone could play tonight if it were a postseason game. Given that they are still 9 games up on Portland, there’s zero chance they fall any lower. You listen to the coach’s reactions and you get the vibe that they are glad their stars have suffered these relatively minor injuries. In what is shaping up to be a perfect storm, the entire roster is set to return with just a few games left in the season, and a cakewalk first round series in the postseason.
So the Warriors keep grinding, in what has been the longest stretch of nothingness in a long long time. Not since the David Lee going down with a fake injury days, or rooting for Anthony Randolph to show a single flash in the last 10 games days, or even a meaningless Don Nelson coaching record at the end of another awful season, has these games ever felt so useless. Get used to it, as the Warriors become the flashpoint of the NBA, the gold standard of basketball, that most games won’t mean much until they face their legacies this summer.
The calm before the storm has arrived. Enjoy it now because their greatest opponent is standing between the Warriors and their greatest triumph: a dynasty.