NBA: why it doesn’t benefit anyone to finish first in the West

Every NBA season has seen a fight to the last game to clinch first place in their respective conference by all franchises, but perhaps this season will be an exception and the famous and inauspicious practice of the tanking may not be exclusive to the worst-ranked franchises in the standings: if the East is led by the Boston Celtics by a wide margin (8.5 games ahead of the Bucks, second), in the West there are at least four franchises vying for the top spot, with Thunder, Timberwolves, Nuggets and Clippers packed within 2.5 lengths.

At the moment, at the top is surprise Oklahoma City with a record of 42 wins and 18 losses, followed by the Minnesota Timberwolves, paired with the Denver Nuggets (42-19), while the Los Angeles Clippers chase at 39-20: the first position would yes give home-court advantage for almost every playoff series, but the biggest risk would be facing teams like the Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors in the first round, teams that have generational phenomena capable of overturning any prediction.

On this wavelength is, for example, Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James’ own former Lakers teammate, who, when interviewed after Denver’s 124-114 win over the Yellow Viola, said that no one would want to meet either the Lakers or Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
We all know about the difficulties of the rosters of the two teams, but we know how Steph Curry and LeBron James have often accustomed us to legendary rides in the playoffs, whatever the course of the previously played regular season had been: whether this is the first time in history that we will see of the tanking To not come first?

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The Lakers currently occupy the tenth position in the Western Conference (33-29), just behind the Warriors (32-28) with still about 20 regular season games to play anything is possible.

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Francesco Manelli
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