Blog Entry

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

Posted on: February 14, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2010 4:37 pm
DALLAS -- A plan to discourage tanking and add some excitement to the final weeks of the NBA season has been tabled, most likely until after a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified, has learned.

The plan for a play-in tournament to determine the eighth playoff seed in each conference was the topic of "healthy debate" at the NBA competition committee's meeting Friday during All-Star weekend, one source present at the meeting said. The idea probably won't come up for discussion again until after a new CBA is ratified because it would involve adding games to the schedule, another person in the meeting said.

The tournament was proposed by Denver Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien in response to an invitation from commissioner David Stern, who had solicited ideas from committee members about how to spice up the final weeks of the regular season. Under the plan, the top seven teams in each conference would be seeded for the playoffs as they are now. Teams finishing 8-15 in each conference would play a three-day, single-elimination tournament with the winner being awarded the eighth seed.

In addition to providing more drama, the tournament would theoretically reduce the temptation for teams that are out of playoff contention to rest players and lose games in an effort to secure a chance at a better draft position.

In other action taken Friday, the competition committee recommended two further expansions of instant replay. Under the recommendations, which must be approved by the Board of Governors, referees would be able to use instant replay in its current form during the entire five-minute overtime period. Under the current rules, replay was only applicable in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime. Also, officials would be able to use instant replay to determine whether a foul fits the definition of a clear-path foul. The foul itself would remain a judgment call that is not reviewable, but whether the requirements for a clear path were met would be subject to review.

If the Board of Governors approves the recommendations -- which typically is a formality -- the replay changes would not take effect until next season.

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2010 3:16 pm

*Earlier* tanking could result...

What is to say that a season with more parity than this one might result in two or more teams tanking earlier to be the first team eliminated?

I believe there is the kernel of a good idea there.  But maybe the top 1-3 picks should go to the *last* 1-3 teams eliminated from playoff contention instead, followed by the standard lottery.  The potential reward for just missing the playoffs could benefit good teams beset by injuries or rebuilding teams stil on the rise.

Still, no plan based on just current season W-L addresses the impact just a handful of losses by a team at the bottom could have on draft order.

Since: Feb 16, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2010 2:55 pm

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

This plan is dumb.

For a long time i've had the best plan for basketball and football drafts. The team to get the the top draft pick is the first team to get eliminated from playoff contention. Which this year will be NJ and MIN pretty soon, after that date they will have proven that they are the team that needs the most help so they won't have to tank and there will be no need for the lottery. They should theoretically win every game after playoff contention elimination and not make the playoffs and still have thier rightfull seed.

Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2010 9:26 am

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

This plan is retarded.  To discourage tanking you have to remove the impetus to tank.  Why not give every team an equal chance at a top 3 pick, then go ahead with the lottery?  The worst team in the league would be guaranteed the 7th pick and would have a better chance at picks 4-6.  Think anyone's going to tank for that?  Plus, it would be fun to think that the best player in college would have a chance to come out and compete on a contender instead of always toiling away on a terrible team, just like Tim Duncan years ago.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2010 10:13 pm

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

How does this plan do anything but encourage tanking? The regular season means nothing, so why bother?

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2010 9:43 pm

Use same system based on three-year W-L record...

I say use the same lottery system currently in place, but base the number of ping pong balls awarded on the basis of each team's aggregate record over the current *and* two previous seasons.  Phase in the plan during the second or third year of the next CBA.

Might not eliminate tanking, but reduce the value of each tanked game by 2/3.

Probably more likely to earn league and union approval, too.

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2010 5:44 pm

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

I understand what most of you are trying to say.  From a competitive perspective though maybe that team that finally realizes the 8th seed is actually good.  I mean like was stated earlier, there are only three  games separating a few teams in the West.  Their respective records may not be great, but the teams are beating up on each other, not necessarily reflecting how good the individual teams are.  On any given night there are major upsets in the league.  They might not be considered upsets as it is basketball, but relatively speaking most of these teams can compete against each other.  The fact that the play-in team would be exhausted is more the issue.  There would have to be a break in between the end of the tournament and the actual playoffs.  But I think teams will tank if they want to regardless.  But teams with pride who would still get a high draft pick, maybe not a number one, would like to have a playoff atmosphere.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2010 11:50 am

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

"The NBA.  It's fantastic." 

"The NBA.  Don't even bother watching a regular-season game."

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2010 9:08 am

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

So if I'm on a terrible team, I'm my incentive for not tanking is that I get to play the 8th-best instead of the 11th-best, in order to marginally improve my chances of winning the first game of a 3-game blitz for the honor to face the best team in the conference (who will be comparatively well-rested)?  I fail to see how that's worth my time and effort.  Currently in the Western Conference, the difference between the 8th and 11th teams is just 3 games in the win collumn.  Is anyone really going to care which of those teams they face?  There's hardly a difference.  Especially if you're a squad like Minnesota or Golden State.  And really, if those bottom-end teams somehow manage to win 3 straight games, aren't they just going to get mauled on short rest by the Lakers?

I understand what they're trying to accomplish, I just don't see how that system will change anything... other than possibly adding 14 more games and thus some revenue for the league.

Since: May 20, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2010 8:40 am

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

Only upside, that I can see, is an "anti-tanking" fan, i.e. if a fan/fans thinks their team can still make the playoffs, then they'll be LESS likely to give up on their team for the season, so they'll buy more tickets and make the team and league more $.

More playoff berths=more fans butts in the seats.

And, what if a 15 seed win the play-in, then beats the #1 seed. Do they give up their great draft spot and chance at a #1 pick through the lottery?

  No 15 seed team is going to give up getting a top 5 guy, just to get killed Round 1 or if, by some miracle, make it to the Conference Semis, move down 20 or so spots in the draft.

You can't stop teams from tanking, but you can stop fans from tanking on their teams, "If the fans think their favorite team hasn't given up (or can't give up), then they'll be sure to stick around to support them."  With the NBA allegedly losing $400M a year,  I'm sure that's their logic.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2010 2:07 am

Anti-tanking plan must wait for new CBA

What would be the point of the regular season then?

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