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Friday, April 20, 2012
Tanking for playoff position: OK?

By Henry Abbott


Jemele Hill makes a key point, saying: "It's not tanking, it's strategizing."

If the incentives are set up properly, nobody should be able to say that. Ideally, the system would reward the teams that are always trying to win.

One way that could happen is if the higher seeds get to pick their first-round playoff opponents, as has been suggested several places, and it is being done now in the D-League.

Losing a game here or there for playoff position is an issue with a far smaller impact, in my view, than tanking for draft position -- which can lead to years of meaningless basketball for some teams. But it's still a disappointment to those who want to see the best possible basketball when they tune in an NBA game.