Uncertainty has bled through the Mavericks’ rocky season thus far. They’ve spent the duration of the season dwelling in the basement of the Western Conference, an unfamiliar place for a franchise with 15 playoff appearances in the last 16 seasons. The season has been railroaded by both injuries and cognitive dissonance. Depending on who you talk to, the injuries transforming playoff hopes into ping pong balls may be a blessing in disguise.
The great debate around tanking, whether by choice or circumstance, boils down to a debate on unpredictability. The draft is unpredictable; the playoffs—to a lesser extent—are unpredictable.