A look at tanking action, ahem, excuse me "rebuilding" action from around the NBA on Wednesday and today.
The Detroit Pistons were easily dispatched by the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. But there's even better news when you look around the NBA landscape. The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to hand the Phoenix Suns a loss, the New York Knicks were able to handle the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings were able to bury the ambling corpse once known as the Philadelphia 76ers (18 losses and counting!).
All those moves mean that the Pistons fell into a tie for the eighth-worst record in the NBA with the Cavs. A little lottery luck and a coin flip could lead the Pistons to keeping their 2014 draft pick if the season ended today. But it doesn't end today. The Pistons could either solidify their position with more losses or vault back in front of Cleveland and New York.
The Pistons are also only two games in front of the Kings and 2.5 games in front of the Los Angeles Lakers. On to today's slate.
A typical light slate today, but there are games with pretty significant implications for the Pistons.
Milwaukee at Atlanta
Milwaukee is playing better lately, but Atlanta needs to start winning so that the Pistons can get rid of the ridiculous notion that they are close to a playoff team. The Bucks, meanwhile, are too far down the standings for Detroit to catch.
Root for: Atlanta
Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Do you believe in miracles? Yes! Well, then maybe the Lakers and beleaguered coach Mike D'Antoni have a chance against the somewhat struggling Thunder, which is only 5-5 in its past 10 games. If the Lakers were able to manage to pull out a victory, L.A. would be just 1.5 games in front of Detroit.
Root for: Los Angeles