The Lottery Ticket Field With 4 Games To Go

Outside of the two worst teams in the league,* the top competitors for draft lottery tickets are down to four games to play, and things are still incredibly tightly packed.  The Wizards could yet end up with a decent chance at a top-2 pick (or mathematically, anyway--that doesn't account for the bad luck), or could slide far enough to become a fairly long shot.

Nets 11-67

Minn 4 GB

GS 13 GB

Sac 13 GB

Wiz 13 GB

Det 14 GB

Philly 15 GB



So, the Wizards are clearly still within striking difference to get the third most lottery combinations.  With only 4 games left to play, it probably isn't realistic to think that they could fall as far as 8th, past the Clippers.  The Wiz would have to win out, with the Clippers losing out.  We certainly can't rule out, though, that they could fall past the Sixers, into 7th.  And 6th is all-too-easily achievable, requiring only two wins.  (Keep in mind that if two teams tie, they each get the average of the number of combinations for the two slots, with that coin flip to allocate the last combination where there is an odd number available.

The remaining schedule has the Wizards at Boston, home against Atlanta for the second half of a back-to-back, then at NY, and finishing home against Indiana.  All of those are losable.  Indiana could be the most winnable game, but the Pacers have been fairly hot down the stretch, and are 8-2 over their last 10.

This seems to be shaping up to be a draft with a clear top-2,** followed by a second tier of big men (Cousins/Favors/Aldrich/Davis) and a couple of small forwards (Aminu/Johnson).  Here are the chances of getting a the top pick out of the slots the Wiz could see:

3rd:  15.6%

4th:  11.9%

5th:  8.8%

6th:  6.3%

7th:  4.3%

8th:  2.8%

The potential impact of these last four games is even more obvious when looking at the odds of getting a top-2 pick out of each slot:

3rd:  31.3%

4th:  24.5%

5th:  18.5%

6th:  13.4%

7th:  9.2%

8th:  6.1%

Yes, being in 3rd or 4th still means the team very likely won't be in the top 2, but the odds are far better there than in 6th or 7th.  And, this year, that could just be a one or two win difference.

Of course, at the moment, Golden State, Sacramento, and the Wizards would have to share the combinations for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th slots, essentially giving them each the odds associated with the 4th slot.  

The wild finish for playoff seeding in the West has gotten a lot of attention, but some teams with dismal seasons could see their odds of moving up in the draft change significantly over the last week.


* It is kind of amazing to think that, as bad as the Wiz have been, there are two teams who have been that much worse.  New Jersey and Minny have 13 and 9 fewer wins respectively.

** After seeing much more of Wall since my comments on Wall/Turner on Rook's prospect profiles, I've come around more to Wall.  I still wish his j were farther along and that he would have turned the ball over less, considering the talent he had to pass to and that he'll have to be a PG, but.....I am coming around more to him over Turner.  I'd still be very tempted to go with Turner though.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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