While half of the NBA is jockeying for playoff positioning and trying to finish the season strong, for the worst of the worst in the NBA, one question looms large above all others — to tank or not to tank.
The incentives for a franchise are one thing, but the incentives for the fans can be thought of a little differently. They are the ones who spend their hard-earned money on tickets and limited free time in front of a screen taking in some sometimes good and sometimes awful basketball.
So the question went out to Pistons fans — do you want them to finish strong or do you want them to lose in favor of increased lottery odds heading into the NBA Draft. The results are some of the most lopsided I’ve seen as part of SB Nation Reacts surveys.
When asked if they want the young Pistons to finish strong, gain confidence and gain momentum heading into next season or if they want to lose and secure odds at a top pick, 79% of voters said they want the Pistons to tank.
Elsewhere, fans were asked what playoff battle they were most interested in as the season comes to a close. In the West, Pistons fans are into a little Schadenfreude as they see if the Lakers can eke out a play-in spot or will fall out completely.
Relatedly, more than half of all NBA fans who voted said that the LA Lakers will in fact miss the playoffs altogether. I’m not complaining!
Fans also said that the Cavaliers will end up falling into the play-in tournament in the East. Meanwhile, voters said that the Boston Celtics will earn the top seed in the East with 41% voting in favor of the Celtics compared to 29% who believe in the Milwaukee Bucks, 16% who support the 76ers and 14% who support the suddenly struggling Miami Heat.