We’ve mentioned “Tank Nation” hundreds of times already in this lockout-shortened season, and we all know that many Raptors fans have applied for citizenship to the Nation. With the “tank” theory comes the understanding that the Raptors have to or should lose to other cellar-dwelling teams to secure a rightful spot at the bottom of the league standings and the top of the lottery.
With a team like the Pistons, who come in to Toronto to finish this seven game homestand next Wednesday, I can understand why Tank Nation subscribers might secretly want Toronto to produce a loss. After all, the way it’s currently looking, the Raps and Pistons will be in a heated “battle” for the same lottery positioning.
But there are some who are looking at tonight’s game against the embarrassingly woeful Bobcats as another opportunity to strengthen the tank, and with this, I heartily disagree.
The Bobcats may have the worst collection of “talent” I’ve ever seen on an NBA roster, and their record backs it up. They’ve lost 16 in a row to fall to a putrid 3-26, which translates to a winning percentage of .103. If you’re wondering, yes, that would be the worst winning percentage in NBA history. The ‘Cats are on pace for 6.6 wins in a 66-game season and would be on pace for just 8.4 wins in an 82-game schedule.
Realistically, the Raptors, or any other team for that matter, are not going to “catch” Charlotte for the league’s worst record and the highest chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft, so losing to the Bobcats would really mean nothing for Tank Nation. It would result only in utter embarrassment. I don’t know about you, but over the years, I’ve had just about enough of that as a Raptors fan.
This Raps team is playing hard and at least competing with upper echelon teams. Sprinkle in a win every now and then, and it makes it a lot easier for the young players to buy into Dwane Casey’s message and the overall changing of the culture.
Now obviously, as much as casual fans might not want to admit it, there are such things as “good” losses in a rebuilding season that’s about getting the team in good position for the draft and the future. Just look at Wednesday night against the Spurs as an example.
But losing to arguably the worst team in NBA history on your home court and being the team that hands them their first win in 17 games would not qualify as one of those good losses, and would probably do more harm than good.
So please, be careful what you wish for.