It’s the last game of the regular season for the San Antonio Spurs (49-16), and with the Western Conference’s top seed all locked up, it looks like we’ll get a repeat of the team we saw last night in Phoenix. The Spurs take on the Golden State Warriors (23-42) and former Spur Richard Jefferson tonight, in a game that could be an easy win even without the "Big Three" of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and head coach Gregg Popovich.
The "Big Three" were all at home resting while the rest of the Spurs took care of the Phoenix Suns last night, 110-106. Tonight, they’ll be without them again going for their 10th win in a row to finish off the season, their 15th consecutive win over Golden State and a chance at the top overall seed. The Spurs are currently tied with the Chicago Bulls for the top spot, but the Bulls hold the tiebreaker. The Spurs will have to win and hope the Bulls lose at home against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers if they want guaranteed home court advantage throughout the entire postseason.
Playing with mostly bench players seems far from a guaranteed win, but the Golden State roster is depleted as well. The Warriors will be without David Lee (surgery today to repair a torn abdominal muscle), Stephen Curry (ankle), Andrew Bogut (ankle) and possibly Nate Robinson, Dorell Wright and Andris Biedrins. In their last game against New Orleans, the Warriors only played nine guys.
The Warriors also have some incentive to lose this game. They currently have the NBA’s 8th-worst record. If they fall back into the bottom seven, they get to keep their protected first-round draft pick that would otherwise go to Utah because of a previous trade. New Jersey and Toronto are currently tied for the 7th-worst record and they play each other tonight. One of them will have to win, bringing them tied with Golden State if the Warriors lose, and a drawing will be held to determine draft position. So tonight, we may see some serious tanking from the Warriors, this is probably not one of those games you want to pay full value on your ticket.
We saw some great efforts from Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills last night. Who will step up for the Spurs tonight to end this great season on a high note?