What is more important, the higher ranking team losing, or getting into the top 8 in the conference?
Context: Let’s say the Team 1 has 13 points and is 1st in the standings for the Eastern Conference, and the Team 2 has 5 points and are in last place. My team has 6 points. If Team 1 plays Team 2 next, would it be more beneficial for my team long term if the higher place team loses, keeping them from extending their lead but putting Team 2 ahead of my team in the standings, or for Team 1 to win, keeping Team 2 behind my team in the standings?
Because regardless of the win, both my team and Team 2 are still in the bottom 8, I am not sure. If my team was 8th, and Team 2 was 9th or 10th, I would still want Team 1 to win and keep them out of the top 8. This is more a question of long term benefits. Perhaps games left in the season would weigh in on the answer. Still, any input?