2011 NBA Draft Lottery Standings: Wizards Hurt Odds With Win Over Celtics

Before we get to the standings, a quick word on tanking since it came up in last night's thread.

I sympathize with those who would like the Wizards to lose to improve their lottery odds.  Sure, the team with the best odds usually doesn't win the lottery, but it does help your chances more than anything.  I also think we sometimes overrate how much a strong finish matters, because there's a whole summer and possibly a lockout, and many things can change with this roster and the rosters of other teams in the East.

But I also think it's very difficult practically for a team to tank.  I suppose the Wizards could have held out John Wall and some of the other starters, but for what purpose?  The Celtics have a legitimate goal this season, so it's different for them to rest their starters.  The Wizards would be sacrificing some integrity just for the possibility of a better draft position.  I honestly think it's just not worth the trade-off.  You have to coordinate so many things to tank properly, and if I'm a coach or a player, I'm just not inclined to do all of that when it's so much easier to just play hard and play to win.

As a fan, I can understand rooting for losing on some level, but I don't think I can take it to the next level and actually advocate the Wizards adjusting the way they play just to lose.  

Standings below the jump: 

The Wizards' win, coupled with Toronto's loss and Sacramento's loss, means the Wizards could finish with only the sixth-worst record if things break poorly.  Here are the current standings.

 

  1. Minnesota: 17-64
  2. Cleveland: 18-63
  3. Toronto: 22-59
  4. Washington: 23-58
  5. Sacramento: 24-57
  6. New Jersey: 24-57*
*pick goes to Utah

Ties will be broken by a random drawing, the same way they were in the past.  In 2009, the Wizards won a drawing with the Clippers to get the second-most odds, then saw the Clippers win the No. 1 overall pick.  Last year, the Wizards lost a draw with the Warriors and ended up with the No. 1 overall pick.

REMAINING SCHEDULES:
  • Washington: at Cleveland.
  • Toronto: vs. Miami.
  • Sacramento: vs. LA Lakers.
  • New Jersey: at Chicago. 
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