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Breaking down the lottery standings

Because this stuff matters: 

  1. Nets: 12-68
  2. Timberwolves: 15-65
  3. Warriors: 25-55
  4. Kings: 25-55
  5. Wizards: 25-55
  6. Pistons: 26-54
  7. 76ers: 27-53

As you can see, we're currently tied for third with the Kings and Warriors. The Pistons lurk one game back, and the 76ers could still tie us.  Theoretically, we could finish anywhere from third to seventh.  

Before we get to the schedules, let's first thank the Oklahoma City Thunder for blowing a 20-point lead against the Warriors last night.  The basketball gods, apparently angered by Flip Saunders' constant referencing of them in post-game press conferences, did everything they could to change the outcome.  First, the refs missed an obvious backcourt violation, allowing the Thunder to cut the lead to three with 15 seconds left.  Then, Monta Ellis, normally a very reliable free throw shooter, bricked two freebies, giving the Thunder a chance to tie.  The two teams played the fouling game for a while until the Thunder still trailed by three with nine seconds left.  The Warriors, predictably, failed miserably at trying to foul, giving Eric Maynor a wide open look at a three.  But for some reason, he passed it up, and the Thunder played hot potato before Kevin Durant finally missed a contested three.  

So thank you, Warriors.  We'll repay you someday.

Now, here are the remaining schedules for everyone:

  • WIZARDS: Monday at New York, Wednesday vs. Indiana
  • WARRIORS: Tuesday vs. Utah, Wednesday at Portland
  • KINGS: Monday vs. Houston, Wednesday at LA Lakers
  • PISTONS: Monday vs. Toronto, Wednesday at Minnesota
  • 76ERS: Monday vs. Miami, Wednesday at Orlando

So ... yeah, on paper, it looks like we have the easiest schedule.  Detroit has a pretty easy one too, with Toronto playing terribly and the Timberwolves being the Timberwolves.  But both of our final two games are very winnable, even with the Pacers playing at a really high level right now.  Golden State has two games against teams in the thick of the playoff race, as does Philly.  Sacramento's a wild card because of how good they are at home and the fact that Houston played a tough game in Phoenix last night, but they could also easily lose both of their final two games.

In other words, to ensure a top three pick, we're going to have to lose winnable games, and even then, we're probably going to be tied with somebody.  That means it'll go to a coin flip to see who gets more ping pong combinations.  That didn't turn out so well last time