Is there such a thing as, and is there any merit to a strategic loss?
If a team is expected to lose a certain amount of games throughout the
season, are there times when due to scheduling it might be best to plan
for when some of those losses occur?
I am wondering whether or not last nights loss to the Wolves might have
been a strategic loss.
The first game of a back-to-back where the opponent is in the Western
conference, is not that good, and will clearly only be seen twice this
season. The second game of the back-to-back being of much greater
importance since it is against an inter-conference opponent who we
could see plenty of down the road.
It just seems that had the Pacers kept playing at a high level after building
up that big lead against the Wolves, they would have buried them and won
the game in blowout fashion. But they did not, and seemingly shut down
their attack to allow the not-so-good Wolves to get back in and cruise to
a comfortable victory.
What would be a good reason for this?
1. Knowing we have a much more important game the next night, to not
increase odds of an injury occuring, and conserve energy to be more rested
than if putting the "metal to the petal" the entire game.
2. If we are to suffer a loss it should be against a team that can be least
damaging to us in the long run. A loss that in the "Grand Scheme" of things
is relatively unimportant.
3. A byproduct would be to "help" the NBA by letting a struggling team get
a much needed win, so if nothing else, their fans don't get more down and
depressed, and feel more "ripped off" than they might already. Possibly a
behind the scenes "politics" sort of deal.
Do teams look at their schedule and say "if we expect to lose X amount
of games then this should be one of them to increase our odds of
winning the next" ?