I’m not saying that both of these teams want to lose this game, but neither of them want to win this game.
You know the story: both the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs would love to own the first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Barring that, both teams would love to have the second pick. After that, the prospects get a little hazier but there’s clearly still plenty of talent and a long college/G-League/Overtime Elite season ahead to determine which handful of players will be lottery guys.
Both of these teams need a center. And both need a point guard. Luckily, Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson are a center and point guard, respectively.
With the Orlando Magic on a 6-game winning streak reminiscent of Houston’s incredibly random 7-game streak from last year, there are four teams remaining in the NBA that own only single-digit wins. Tonight, that number will be reduced to three since one of these teams has to win (I checked: there are no ties in the NBA).
And don’t look now, but the Washington Wizards have dropped 10 in a row, the Chicago Bulls have lost four in a row, and the Toronto Raptors are winless in their last five. So some teams that may not have planned on tanking may see their fortunes falling and decide to trade away their good players and join the tanking brigade.
If Gregg Popovich is as good of a coach as they say he is, he will find a way to get this win. Otherwise, he must forfeit all five rings to the Rockets. I don’t make the rules, but we still have to follow them. Sorry about it.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest