The New Orleans Pelicans will head into San Antonio tonight after completely dismantling a shorthanded Warriors team at home.
This was the second time that the Pelicans have beaten the Warriors in New Orleans, though the first game was considerably closer than last game’s 45-point blowout.
The one thing the games did have in common was that the Warriors didn’t play any of their top guys, as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins all sat out.
For all of these guys except for Thompson, these were the only two games they’ve missed this season. None of them were injured, but sat out for “load management” reasons, something that has become a lot more common over the last several years.
In the last game, the Warriors were on the tail end of a road back-to-back, so it’s a little more understandable, but I often wonder what Michael Jordan would say about a team’s stars taking a night off for no reason against a team they figure to be battling in the standings.
Competitiveness of the league and conference seeding aside, there is another consideration: The fans.
New Orleans Pelicans: Should fans be angry about “load management?”
On one hand, I totally understand why teams give guys a night off, especially the teams with older players that hope to make deep runs into the playoffs.
The Warriors are one such team and want to have their full complement of players late in the season. They are also a veteran squad that probably doesn’t care as much about seeding and home court advantage, though they should, as they are just 1-9 away from home this season.
I’m sure there is some metric that can prove “load management” helps prevent injuries, but is certainly lowering the level of competition in the NBA’s regular season and it seems like there are just as many injuries (if not more) than there have ever been.
Then there are the fans, who pay inflated prices to see teams like the Warriors, hoping to see some future Hall of Famers in exciting games, but instead get treated to a roster full of backups and young guys they’ve never heard of.
As a fan, I am happy to see the Warriors hand the Pelicans two easy wins and boost their chances of higher seeding in the playoffs, but I didn’t have tickets to those games. Yes, it’s great to see your team win by 45 points, but it’s also nice to see them play the team you paid to see.
Teams and resellers charged premium prices for a product that fans didn’t get.
You can’t predict…