For all the talk of tanking across the NBA, the league and the teams couldn't afford the sheer amount of talent that came into the league. Parity arrived at their doorstep. There's 3 or 4 teams in the NBA who you should beat, but the rest of them are filled with stars who can steal a game or scrappy teams with underrated talent and a hell of a lot of gumption.
The darlings of the early season, the Pacers and the Jazz, are on the outs of the postseason. They can still get you on any night. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving's chances at the play-in currently sit at 6-percent. Crazy!
Man, when the play-in comes around, that thing is going to be absolutely laden with stars. Before that happens though, the Raptors have to finish the season strong. The Hornets, being one of the teams you should beat, took the L yesterday and have now accounted for 10-percent of Toronto's wins on the season. The Raptors, with the toughest schedule (by opponent record) in the league, could possibly see some of the best teams in the league become one of the easiest opponents out there.
So, how do you alter, transmogrify, or change one of the best teams in the league into one of the worst? You take away the will to win, and increase the incentive to maintain. This won't be new to anyone, we've been seeing it for awhile - teams are far more likely to play their end of bench players at the end of the year if their seed is already determined. Protect the stars before the biggest games of the season.
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V3ry nice post.