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Warriors lose by winning

If you’re still keeping up with the Warriors — trust me, I understand if you aren’t — you know they are in danger of losing their first round pick in this year’s draft.

In order to keep the pick, the Warriors need to finish the season as one of the seven worst teams in the NBA. To do that, they basically needed to lose all of their remaining games.

They also needed teams around them to win. That’s a lot to ask from teams that are just as bad as the Warriors and are also fighting for draft position. We’re talking about teams like Sacramento, Toronto, New Jersey and Cleveland.

Bay Area News Group’s Marcus Thompson has been tracking the Warriors’ chances of keeping the pick after every game. Things were looking good — until last night’s unexpected come-from-behind win in Minnesota.

For those of you that made the smart decision not to tune in, the Warriors were down 21 when Charles Jenkins led a furious rally to secure a five-point win. At the worst possible time.

The Warriors’ record is now 23-41. A loss last night would have put them in a three-way tie for the sixth-worst team in the NBA with the Nets and Raptors with two games left.

According to Thompson, if the Warriors had lost last night and in their two remaining games, they would have finished tied for the sixth-worst record in the league. That would earn them a 75 or 95.9 percent chance of keeping the pick, depending on a coin-toss to break the tie.

But the win last night leaves the Warriors with the eighth-worst record in the league. If that’s where they end up, the Warriors’ chances of keeping their draft pick plummets all the way down to 10 percent.

Now the Warriors need to lose to to New Orleans and San Antonio, and root for Toronto, New Jersey and Cleveland to win. If either the Nets or Raptors win out — they play each other in the last game of the season, so both can’t win out — the Warriors could hold the seventh-worst record all by themselves.

Tonight, New Jersey hosts Philly and Toronto visits the Monta Ellis-led Bucks. Imagine Monta and Ekpe Udoh coming back to haunt the Warriors by beating the Raptors.

If the Cavaliers win two of their last three games — at Memphis and Chicago, no easy task — the Warriors could finish with the sixth-worst record, again, if either New Jersey or Toronto win out as well.

Just like the Warriors, though, all these teams can help themselves by losing. The Warriors could have made this a lot easier on everybody by taking the loss last night. Instead, we all get to sweat it out this week.

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