NBA Draft 2014: Magic, Celtics, Jazz, Lakers, and Kings in dogfight for #3 spot

USA TODAY Sports

There is only one more week left in the NBA's regular season. And there is so much up for grabs. Who will do what it takes to claim opportunity?

We have known for weeks that the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers are way ahead of the rest of the pack in the great tank-off of 2014. What the last few weeks have revealed, on the other hand, is that the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings are going to be in a dogfight for the rest of the ping-pong balls. Each team has four games left, save for the Kings. And each team plays a back to back set. Only the Kings do not play the second game of the back to back on the road.

That's where the similarities really end. Orlando is playing well right now, but their luck will run out as they end their season against four straight playoff teams. Boston isn't so lucky with their schedule, and will play Philly one more time. It's likely that the Celtics will win at least one game. Utah and LA both have similar schedules, but LA is destined to lose every game. Including the one game where these two teams face off. If/when Utah wins that game they'll win the season series 3-1. But I hope we'll win a coin flip for once. And that leaves the Kings. The Kings play only three games and have the least chance to jump up in the rankings.

So this is what is likely to happen.

2013_2014_orl_bos_uta_lal_sac_final_week

And thus, this is where the ping-pong balls will fall. (Assuming LAL wins the coin flip, because you know that's going to happen.)

Rank Team Top 3 Chance 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
1 Milwaukee Bucks 64.3% 25.0% 21.5% 17.8% 35.7%
2 Philadelphia 76ers 55.8% 19.9% 18.8% 17.1% 31.9% 12.3%
3 Orlando Magic 46.9% 15.6% 15.7% 15.6% 22.6% 26.5% 4.0%
4 Boston Celtics 37.8% 11.9% 12.6% 13.3% 9.9% 35.1% 16.0% 1.2%
5 Los Angeles Lakers 29.2% 8.8% 9.7% 10.7% 23.1% 36.0% 8.4% 0.4%
6 Utah Jazz 21.5% 6.3% 7.1% 8.1% 43.9% 30.5% 4.0% 0.1%
7 Sacramento Kings 15.0% 4.3% 4.9% 5.8% 59.9% 23.2% 1.8% 0.0%

Fun. That was a nice season we had. Substandard development, defense, and discipline. An unfun team to watch that didn't compete and got blown out more than any other in franchise history. And to top it off, no Top 5 pick. Woe be unto us.

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