It's our last Five for Friday of the regular season, and this week's suggestions fittingly focus on the tough-to-watch last month of the season when many teams have "shut it down" in preparation for the playoffs or in hopes of finding a better draft pick.
Seriously, look at these two starting lineups.
Here are four ideas on how the league can encourage teams to finish the regular season in style, and one on how video game technology can help catch floppers:
THREE WAYS TO IMPROVE THE LAST MONTH OF THE NBA SEASON
First, give everybody three days off before the playoffs start. Second, and more obviously, eliminate mid-lottery protections on draft picks like the one Golden State owes to Utah, which saw the Warriors go into full-on tanking mode at the end of this season in an attempt to keep it. Limit protection on picks to the top three or earlier, or top 14 or later. Remember, what Golden State is doing doesn't just ruin it for Golden State fans; it also kills things for their opponents' fans and, by the way, it toys with the competitive balance of the schedule, too. Finally, and most importantly, incentivize winning late-season games for playoff and lottery teams alike. This is simply the only way to offset the huge incentive teams now have to either rest their best players (if a playoff team) or lose intentionally (if not). -- John Hollinger on ESPN.com (Insider)
ENCOURAGE THE LEAGUE'S WORST TEAMS TO KEEP FIGHTING (Suggestion 1)
ENCOURAGE THE LEAGUE'S WORST TEAMS TO KEEP FIGHTING (Suggestion 2)
Give the worst team in the NBA two lottery picks including one in the top five, but neither of them can be in the top two. Every other team goes in an unweighted lottery for the rest of the top three. The remainder of the draft goes by record. For instance, the Wizards (owner of the second-worst record) have an equal chance of landing in the top three as anyone, but won't fall beyond six. -- Devin Kharpertian of Nets Are Scorching
WHY AN UNWEIGHTED LOTTERY ALONE WON'T STOP TANKING
Minnesota has zero incentive to lose, yet players like Kevin Love and Luke Ridnour have been shelved from injuries they otherwise might have returned from anyway. Why? Because playing basketball is inherently dangerous. Every time players take the court, there is a chance they might suffer or aggravate a serious injury that imperils their long-term future. This is being melodramatic, obviously, but one reason stars sit out down the stretch -- both for lottery teams and playoff-bound teams that are locked into their seeds and have no incentive to win -- is precisely to stay safe. -- Kevin Pelton on Basketball Prospectus
ACCELEROMETERS TO STOP FLOPPING
We attach microphones to certain players, why not attack an accelerometer to every player's waist and/or chest? Every player has their weight officially measured to start the season. When a charge is taken, a fourth off-court ref quickly looks to see if mass times velocity (momemtum) is actually transfered to the player taking a charge. The amount of momemtum from the offensive player should be nearly equal to the momentum imparted to the defensive player. If not, it's a flop. Accelerometers aren't big, every Nintendo Wii has one. -- Stephen Hwang via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
Google+: Go to our HoopIdea Google+ page and discuss
TrueHoop: Read our HoopIdea posts here and contribute on the conversation page
Email us at email@example.com
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.