There is never a good time to tank

By jeffengelhardt

The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Detroit Pistons … again.

Credit: Associated Press

There is no need to delve into the box score and breakdown the game. There is no reason to analyze why the Bucks allowed Tracy McGrady to easily drop in 20 points or why they allowed a mediocre team to out-hustle them on their home floor and shoot over 50 percent.

There is no reason to analyze any of this because Andrew Bogut said it best in a post-game interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel after the game.

“We just played like crap. It’s our effort, being ready to play, being ready to start the game, being ready to come off the bench. Defensive breakdowns, not knowing our offensive sets. This is February now.

“Myself included, everyone. We all need to know the plays. We need to come out and throw out a professional product out there, and we’re not doing that at the moment.”

No, the Bucks are certainly not putting out a professional product. They went 0-3 on the west coast trip and have lost two games in a row now where they should have won. So this brings me to the point of this post.

Should the Bucks tank?

I hear fans of mediocre teams debate this point a lot and I never know why because to me it is clear. No. In no circumstance should a team ever tank. Even if a team is out of contention for the final playoff spot, it should still win as much as possible.

Critics say “What about a better shot at the No. 1 overall pick?” What about it? That is not something to be proud of. Sure, it could help the franchise in the long run, but do you know what else helps the franchise? Playing hard and doing everything to win with what it has.

I’m not accussing the Bucks of tanking, and with Scott Skiles at the helm and the competitors the team has on its roster, I don’t think it would ever happen. But there will always be fans who think tanking is an option and I’m just not one of those people. And I know it helped the Boston Celtics when Paul Pierce sat out 30-some odd games with an ankle sprain – they became great next season. But that will always be a black eye on an otherwise tremendous career for Pierce.

The Bucks still have a chance at the playoffs and it’s worth it to try and make it, even if it leads to a beatdown in the first round. I said this six-game streak was going to be important and it is. They got off to a real bad start, but now they need to try and win the remaining five because it is possible.

It starts tomorrow with Toronto in the Bradley Center. Let’s hope it is a much better effort from the team than the disappointing performance against Detroit.


Speaking of Detroit, there is a lot of buzz about the city after the Super Bowl commercial. I thought it was pretty cool … While I’m a Bears fan I know many Bucks fans are Packers fans, so congratulations on the Super Bowl victory. I’ll have to settle for the NFC North Championship, which I’m still proud of … Kevin Love is on the All-Star team and deservedly so as he continues to lead the league in rebounds.

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