The NBA rewards teams for losing. That motivates the league’s really bad teams to play even worse – but not everyone’s fade-worthy enough for your basketball picks.
We told you last week about NBA commissioner Adam Silver and how fed up he was with the league’s best teams resting their starters for the playoffs. But what about the league’s worst teams? The ones who finish at the bottom of the standings have the best chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. You know what that means: It’s Tank Time again. Time for those bad teams to phone it in, and time for us to add some more chalk to our NBA picks.
Not every bad team will be so inclined. The Brooklyn Nets (15-57 SU, 34-35-3 ATS) don’t own their 2017 first-round pick; it went to the Boston Celtics, unprotected, in the trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Always bring protection, folks. With little reason left to tank, the Nets are 5-6 SU and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games. Do not fade.
We’d normally recommend the Los Angeles Lakers (21-51 SU, 31-39-2 ATS) in this situation, but it’s hard to say what their motivation is now that Magic Johnson is calling the shots. Is he truly willing to “do the right thing” and watch his beloved Lakers lose on purpose? Well, yes; they’re sitting out Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, which should help them score a Top-3 pick in the lottery and keep it for themselves. Otherwise, it goes to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of that 3-way deal with the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. At least they brought protection.
Still, the Lakers are 2-6 SU and 4-4 ATS in their last eight, so again, who knows with these guys. How about the Sacramento Kings (27-45 SU, 35-34-3 ATS)? Well... it’s complicated. And it involves the Sixers again. Suffice to say, the Kings are 2-7 SU and 4-4-1 ATS in their last nine games. You want a really good fade? Try the Suns (22-51 SU, 35-37-1 ATS) the next time you see them on our NBA odds board. They own their 2017 first-round pick, and they’ve lost seven straight at 1-6 ATS. What dedication. What tanking spirit.