The Warriors Face an Impossible Task So They Might As Well Rest Their Players

The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, 114-109. With just one game remaining in the regular season, the Pelicans now control their destiny to clinch the No. 6 seed and avoid the play-in, while the Warriors are basically locked into the No. 10 seed. It’s great news for the Pelicans and very bad news for the Warriors, who should be used to it this season.

As we enter the fourth year of the expanded play-in, no team has ever actually made the real playoffs after finishing 10th. In order to avoid the No. 10 seed, either the Lakers or Kings need to lose their final game while the Warriors win their game. If both Sacramento and Los Angeles lose and the Warriors win, they’ll jump to the 8th-seed.

You would think this would motivate the Warriors to go for it in game number 82, but that is not the case. Asked whether the Warriors would be resting players during their regular season finale Kerr said “Oh, hell yeah.”

As Kerr explained, it’s a gauntlet to get out of the play-in, but that’s why the 10th-seed, which is generally the 10th best team in the conference, has never made it through. Sure, the Warriors are coming off a stretch where they just won nine of 10 games, but five of their last seven wins came against teams with losing records. So why not just try to win the winnable game against the Utah Jazz, who have even less to play for tomorrow?

This isn’t the NFL wild card the Warriors are resting up for. They are looking to become the first 10th-seed to ever make it out of the play-in and then become just the seventh lower-seeded team to win the one-eight matchup in the first round of the playoffs.

So unless the Warriors go on a truly historic run, they’re going to have plenty of time to rest very soon. Sunday is as good a time to start as any.

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