This doesn’t make any sense to me. Yeah, you typically have to be healthy and good to win in this league. These idiots find new ways to be backhanded and dense each week.
Yeah... a much more potent criticism should be pointed at franchises that have chosen to stake the entirety of their fortunes on star talents who are made of glass and/or are load-managed out of opportunities to help their teams win in the regular season. If both the media and the league continue to communicate that the regular season has no value and that the lack of availability of the league's biggest stars does not matter so long as they are ready and available for the playoffs, well, then the fans aren't going to take too kindly to that.
What's the point in being a paying customer and an ardent supporter of NBA basketball if the regular season product is treated so flippantly that healthy teams are effectively penalized for their success and are awarded with end-of-season honors in a backhanded manner? The Kings' third place finish in the Western Conference should be a triumphant celebration of their commitment to winning that is rewarded with a first-round matchup against a lesser team; instead, they're likely set for a first round matchup with the defending champions who, despite dealing with some serious injuries, still coasted all season no matter who was in the starting lineup and who load-managed Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson even when they were healthy and available to play.
Yes, injuries happen. Yes, this means that sometimes playoff-bound teams are better than their regular season record indicates. But there's so little incentive for teams to change their strategy of load management, playing the middle, and "flipping the switch" when the playoffs come. It just doesn't sit right with me. Either shorten the regular season or penalize teams for sitting healthy starters. Or both, preferably.