When it comes to the last two weeks of the NBA season, teams at the bottom do all they can to continue to lose. The quest for the #1 draft pick becomes serious and we really get to see tanking at it’s finest. While many thought the Los Angeles Lakers would go down this route, they went in the exact opposite direction and their fans are pretty mad about it.
To the fans, the Lakers should be losing every possible game they can. With every win, they jeopardize the chances of losing their pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. With a top-3 protected pick, the Lakers only keep their pick if their lottery ball falls within the final three teams. Anything outside of the top-3 goes to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Things seemed to be riding in Los Angeles’s favor before April as the losses began to pile up. However, they’ve seemed to hit a rare winning stride to end this season that doesn’t necessarily help their draft odds. The Lakers are now on a 5-game winning streak beating some of the league’s best teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. This streak has gotten the fans on the edge of their seats questioning why they are risking their top-3 draft pick.
While the fans are up in arms, the players of the Lakers are unbothered. They understand where the fans are coming from but they don’t believe in the nature of going on the basketball court playing to lose.
While I am a Lakers fan, I agree with the players wholeheartedly. As a basketball player, your job is to go out on the court and compete. It is not on the players to attempt to fall within the bottom three. If the upper management wants to sit stars and put young players on the court in the attempt to tank then so be it. But we as fans can’t be mad at the players and question why they are winning.
This is the time where we have to trust the basketball gods above and believe that the lottery balls will fall in the Lakers favor. Currently, they sit as the 3rd worst team in the NBA which is exactly where they need to be. Of course, those 5 wins didn’t help but even in the event that they lost all of those games, the #1 draft pick wouldn’t have been guaranteed. You never know how the lottery balls are going to fall which is why you have to put your trust in the basketball gods.