NBA Commissioner Adam Silver keeps insisting teams don’t tank, but that gets really hard this time of year.
Have you seen the 76ers play? Plus, more and more teams will start tanking as they’re eliminated from playoff contention. Rarely do teams begin the season tanking, but once the postseason is out of the picture, increasing lottery odds becomes more tolerable. Players will miss games with minor injuries. Coaches will use experimental lineups with young players.
If it hasn’t completely already, Silver’s message will fall on deaf ears.
It definitely doesn’t help when an owner directly contradicts him, either.
Appearing on Pardon the Interruption yesterday, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was asked about Eastern Conference teams tanking at 14:05. Cuban:
Oh, yeah. There’s no suggestion. It’s an absolute.
The Eastern Conference’s five worst teams: Bucks, 76ers, Magic, Celtics and Pistons.
In the last month, those five teams have gone 4-47 when not playing each other or a couple Western Conference tanking candidates, the Jazz and Kings.
Prior, those five teams went 53-166 against other opponents.
When those teams go from winning 24 percent of games to 8 percent, that says something – that Cuban, not Silver, is right.