The last 2 weeks of the 2017 NBA regular season turned into a PR nightmare for the league. It began with the Cavs sitting Lebron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving during a nationally televised game. The trend continued through the end of the regular season where playoff teams rested their players. It became so ridiculous that the last place Brooklyn Nets sat their stars.
So here is my quick fix:
Reward non-playoff teams based on their wins in the past 10 games. Same deal with playoff teams (though not as strongly).
So even though Miami and even the pitiful Lakers missed the playoffs, they still get rewarded for playing strong basketball down the stretch (they won 6 and 5 of their last games respectively).
As for playoff teams, reward them as well for putting their players out there, though not as strongly.
Under this scenario, the Warrior who won 9 of their last 10 would have a small percentage chance of getting into the top 3 of the lottery. Imagine if they did.
It’s all about incentivizing winning down the stretch. Naturally, it’s not fool proof.