In theory, teams that are tanking should have an easy time losing games. I know this isn’t groundbreaking work in the field of tankonometry, but if you’ve structured your team to lose games, are sitting your best players and would greatly improve your lottery odds by dropping some games, then losing shouldn’t be hard.

But that’s not necessarily the case, at least according to Marc Gasol. As the Big Burrito explains, sometimes having no reason to win makes things a lot easier. From the AP:

“Offensively, we could get whatever we wanted to,” Gasol said, “but defensively, that was a problem. (The Warriors) don’t really have anything to play for, so they were just throwing up shots and making bad shots because they have no conscience right now.”

I’ve never really thought of things like that, but I buy it. There’s less pressure to win games, so why wouldn’t a team accidentally play a little better? It’s like when a player explains how they’re teaching themselves how to block things out and just play, only it’s handed down institutionally because there’s nothing to play for. It’s a very nihilistic approach to hoops but you can see where Gasol is coming from.

That being said, if this theory was 100 percent accurate, a team like the Bobcats would be undefeated this season since they’ve had nothing to play for all year. Maybe they’re the exception that proves the rule, but I refuse to believe that’s true.