[Game] Jazz at Kings, Sunday, May 16th, 6 PM Pacific (9 PM Eastern)

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#1
It's time for the final game of the season! The Kings (31-40), who don't need to win, are hosting the Jazz, who need to win to get the #1 seed in the West.

Meanwhile, two games matter for the Kings lottery seeding: The Bulls (30-41) are hosting the Bucks, who need a win and a Nets loss at the Cavs to sneak into the #2 seed in the East. However, the Nets have jumped out to a 13-point lead against Cleveland, and by the time the Bulls/Bucks games starts there may be little point to the Bucks playing their starters. In the other game, the Pelicans (31-40) host the Lakers, who are hoping to edge out the Blazers to avoid the play-in games and as such will be playing their best.

This really is setting up to look like a three-way tie at 8th-10th at 31-41, but we'll have to watch the game to find out.

The Kings will be without Fox, Haliburton, Barnes, Bagley, Holmes, and Justin James, with Whiteside "questionable", setting them up for a team with possibly 10 available players:

Wright/Guy
Hield/Davis/Ramsey
Harkless/King
Metu/Woodard
Jones

The Jazz will be missing Donovan Mitchell but otherwise are healthy. This could be a slaughter.

(Edited to add the sadly-neglected Louis King to the list. Whoops!)
 
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#2
Meanwhile in Blazerland the fans are crying sour because New Orleans has no incentive to win. For all the talk about the integrity of the bottom teams and their lotto odds, the net effect of tankers on teams in the mid-playoff pack to the teams on the bubble is of even far greater concern, imho.
 
#4
Meanwhile in Blazerland the fans are crying sour because New Orleans has no incentive to win. For all the talk about the integrity of the bottom teams and their lotto odds, the net effect of tankers on teams in the mid-playoff pack to the teams on the bubble is of even far greater concern, imho.
Blazers had their chance against the suns. If they hit their free throws and won, it would all be moot. Lakers took care of business by winning out if they beat the pelicans. Blazers blew it in Phoenix and if they blow it against the nuggets, they have no one to blame but themselves. Just like us, Spurs lost the remainder of their games and we didn’t win out. Not making the playins was all on us.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#7
Meanwhile, the Nets are up 28 on the Cavs with under 6 minutes left, so it's not terribly likely the Bucks play anybody they want for the playoffs against the Bulls. Three-way tie is shaping up nicely.
 
#12
Blazers had their chance against the suns. If they hit their free throws and won, it would all be moot. Lakers took care of business by winning out if they beat the pelicans. Blazers blew it in Phoenix and if they blow it against the nuggets, they have no one to blame but themselves. Just like us, Spurs lost the remainder of their games and we didn’t win out. Not making the playins was all on us.
It's not about one game though, it's about weeks worth of teams tanking after the all star break. Lots of interesting proposals for how to adjust the odds to take more than one season into account, but if we're hell bent on doing it that way I'd love to see it be more like a snapshot of the season standings on the day the first team is mathematically eliminated or something to insure the integrity of the final month of the season.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#20
It's not about one game though, it's about weeks worth of teams tanking after the all star break. Lots of interesting proposals for how to adjust the odds to take more than one season into account, but if we're hell bent on doing it that way I'd love to see it be more like a snapshot of the season standings on the day the first team is mathematically eliminated or something to insure the integrity of the final month of the season.
I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again: I think the big problem is that *any* metric that uses win/loss record at any point in the season (or, to a lesser extent, across multiple seasons) will encourage non-competitive teams to lose games at whatever time will be expedient for their lottery odds.

We're super hung up on the idea that lottery odds have to be determined in an objective fashion. But when you tie the lottery odds to an objective measure, teams will manipulate that objective measure. Every time. You can guarantee it.

So if we want to solve the "tanking" problem while also retaining a system that will plausibly award the best picks to the worst teams, we should move to a *subjective* system that's harder to manipulate. My pet favorite is a system where draft order is determined by a vote of NBA Front Offices**. SOMEBODY has to get the #1 overall pick, and the rest of the teams in the NBA would have a vested interest in making sure that the best pick goes to the worst team - not the tankiest team, not the solid team that was missing David Robinson for the year, but the team that is worst-positioned to succeed in the future. You know, the team with the #29 market share and an incompetent front office who hasn't successfully courted a major free agent in a decade and has two players on max contracts with half an ACL between them. Sure, maybe they cruised to 32 wins this year because they have a couple of solid expiring starters, but next year those dudes are bolting and this team is going to be trash and there's nowhere else you'd want the #1 pick to go (given that you aren't getting it). You don't want that #1 pick going to a big-market franchise that won 12 games because it sold off all of its good players for a tranche of future first-round picks and cleared out all of its salary in anticipation of being able to sign one of the superstars on the free agent market. Front offices are smart enough to know the difference. So let them vote, and pick the "deserving" teams.

**We can talk about the details - there are always people concerned that you shouldn't be able to vote for your own team, or that front offices might unfairly position their rivals, but there are ways around that. The general point remains.
 
#30
I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again: I think the big problem is that *any* metric that uses win/loss record at any point in the season (or, to a lesser extent, across multiple seasons) will encourage non-competitive teams to lose games at whatever time will be expedient for their lottery odds.

We're super hung up on the idea that lottery odds have to be determined in an objective fashion. But when you tie the lottery odds to an objective measure, teams will manipulate that objective measure. Every time. You can guarantee it.

So if we want to solve the "tanking" problem while also retaining a system that will plausibly award the best picks to the worst teams, we should move to a *subjective* system that's harder to manipulate. My pet favorite is a system where draft order is determined by a vote of NBA Front Offices**. SOMEBODY has to get the #1 overall pick, and the rest of the teams in the NBA would have a vested interest in making sure that the best pick goes to the worst team - not the tankiest team, not the solid team that was missing David Robinson for the year, but the team that is worst-positioned to succeed in the future. You know, the team with the #29 market share and an incompetent front office who hasn't successfully courted a major free agent in a decade and has two players on max contracts with half an ACL between them. Sure, maybe they cruised to 32 wins this year because they have a couple of solid expiring starters, but next year those dudes are bolting and this team is going to be trash and there's nowhere else you'd want the #1 pick to go (given that you aren't getting it). You don't want that #1 pick going to a big-market franchise that won 12 games because it sold off all of its good players for a tranche of future first-round picks and cleared out all of its salary in anticipation of being able to sign one of the superstars on the free agent market. Front offices are smart enough to know the difference. So let them vote, and pick the "deserving" teams.

**We can talk about the details - there are always people concerned that you shouldn't be able to vote for your own team, or that front offices might unfairly position their rivals, but there are ways around that. The general point remains.
One "problem" there is it goes right back to the rigged lottery theory where Ewing went to NY that lead to the weighted lotto in the first place and created the mess. Especially when maybe there is an argument NOT to give top picks to teams that are going to ruin potential stars.

I am a little more partial to some 3-5 year aggregate or consecutive missed playoffs if we want to just give it to the team in the most need.

Conversely, I'm also not entirely opposed to a tournament for the top pick. Instead of putting the top 3 guys with the worst team each season, why not put them with the team ready to take the next step? That might actually make the league more competitive as a whole. Especially if you seed the tournament for the top pick based on record and only award it to the top 2-3 (maybe 4) teams, and then give the rest of the picks in order of finish, there would be tons of incentive not to have the worst record but also plenty to have the best non-playoff record. Maybe?