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It’s finally over. The regular season which has dragged, it seems, since the All-Star break, has finally reached its conclusion. With most of the Warriors resting tonight, or playing limited minutes, the Warriors lost 132-117 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Here are three takeaways from tonight’s game:
Playoffs? You kidding me?
No, I’m not kidding. The playoffs are here this weekend, and the Warriors almost certainly know who they’re going to play: the Los Angeles Clippers. At last check, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Milwaukee Bucks 127-118, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-94.
According to Anthony Slater, there are a number of Warriors players who have preferred that matchup for the ease of travel and weather. While, like every playoff team in the Western Conference, there aren’t too many easy beats, the Clippers don’t have any star players or matchups (aside from their penchant to play two big men simultaneously) that would cause the Warriors too much of a headache.
Clippers with a surprise loss to the Lakers, which puts them very much back in play for #8 seed. There's a contingent of Warriors who prefer LAC as 1-8 matchup, for proximity/weather purposes. GSW gets a chance to help that cause on Sunday. They meet in Oracle.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 6, 2019
How is this confirmed before the Clippers play the Utah Jazz? Both the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder won their games today, rendering the Clippers’ game meaningless in terms of seeding. If the Spurs had lost and Clippers had won, the Warriors would be gearing up to play the Spurs:
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) April 10, 2019
Kevin Durant won’t be suspended for the first round
Very early in the game, with 9:39 left on the first quarter clock, Kevin Durant picked up his 16th technical foul of the season. Normally, this would mean a one-game suspension, but since it came in the 82nd game of the season, Durant won’t face any repercussions for the technical foul. Suspensions don’t carry over into the playoffs, according to Anthony Slater.
Kevin Durant just picked up his 16th technical of the season. Steve Kerr asks courtside: "Is he going to get suspended for the playoffs?" No is the answer. You basically get a free one in game #82.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 11, 2019
“It’s a Tennessee thing”
Such was said by the iconic Memphis, Tennessee rap group, Three 6 Mafia on the track “Stay Fly.”
Over the past three seasons, the Warriors are 7-4 against the Memphis Grizzlies, with three of the four losses coming in Memphis. With the trade of cornerstone center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors, injuries and disappointing performance, the franchise is almost unrecognizable from the years when Gasol and Zach Randolph were terrors in the post and Mike Conley was (is) the most underrated facilitating point guard in the NBA.
With Gasol gone, but the Grizzlies still tethered to Conley and the remaining two years and $25 million on Chandler Parsons’ contract, they’ll look to build around Jaren Jackson Jr., however, they still owe a first-round pick to the Boston Celtics. It may be a long road back for Memphis.
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