You can call the Detroit Pistons Dreadwing because this team is a stealth tank. *
*For those of you with lives, that was a deep-cut reference to an obscure G2 Transformer that was a triple-changer robot/stealth bomber/tank
The Pistons were off Thursday and are off again today, and their playoff positioning remains unchanged -- tied for the No. 8 pick with the playoff-or-bust (emphasis on bust) Cleveland Cavaliers. In yesterday's Tank Watch, we discussed how awesome it would be if the Lakers pulled off the miracle against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Yeah ... that didn't happen. Instead OKC rolled to a 131-102 victory where their bench played a combined 122 minutes.
Today there are plenty of games involving tanking teams but none that pits two tankers against each other. That's bad because if all the favorites win then Detroit gains no ground. But it is also good, in a way, a bad team winning today means that another bad team didn't also have to lose. Lets look at today's slate. And some of the supposed good teams playing today have stumbled a bit and a loss wouldn't exactly be shocking.
Cleveland at Golden State
The last scheduled game of the night goes first on this list because it involves the Cavaliers, currently tied with Detroit with the eighth-worst record. With games against the Clippers, Heat, Thunder and Rockets immediately following this, Pistons fans really have to root for the Cavs tonight. Unfortunately, the Warriors seemed to have righted their ship, with five wins in their past six, including victories against Dallas and Indiana. Hope for the best.
Root for: Cleveland
Washington at Orlando
Washington has lost two in a row and struggled to put away the Milwaukee Bucks. On the other hand, Orlando hasn't beaten a team not named the Sixers since Feb. 21. We'll have to pray for some hometown magic for the Magic.
Root for: Orlando
Indiana at Philadelphia
Philadelphia has lost 18 games in a row and are in danger of actually losing out. Indiana might not look invincible anymore, but they should easily handle the Sixers.
Root for: Philadelphia
Phoenix at Boston
Boston is a bad team that does seem to have a knack for beating teams in disarray and the surprising Suns are starting to fall back with the pack a little bit out West. The Suns are coming off of an ugly loss to the Cavaliers and the team is trying to reintegrate Eric Bledsoe back into the lineup and the flow of the offense. That being said, the Celtics just got smacked around by the suddenly frisky New York Knicks.
Root for: Boston
Portland at New Orleans
The Trail Blazers have lost five of six, but the only bad loss of the bunch was to the Lakers. But that hasn't stopped the team from holding a players-only meeting and now the team will be without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who suffered a back contusion after a hard fall against the Spurs. That means more Thomas Robinson and more Meyers Leonard than the spurs would probably be comfortable with. All in all, this could be a recipe for a huge game from Anthony Davis and a big win for the Pelicans.
Root for: New Orleans
LA Lakers at San Antonio
The Lakers stink and unless Greg Popovich decides to hold out all his starters I don't see L.A. pulling out the upset here.
Root for: L.A.
L.A. Clippers at Utah
The Clippers are playing like the best team in the West right now and the best you can say about Utah is at least they have TREY BURKE. The Jazz have lost seven of eight with the one victory being against the Sixers (big surprise). Luckily, once the Jazz make a trip through Texas with games against the Clippers and Grizzlies thrown in they get to play Orlando, Detroit, New Orleans and New York in short order. Wins could be on the horizon.
Root for: Utah