NBA Draft Lottery: Can the Utah Jazz catch the Orlando Magic

"Man, this game is going to be ugly..." - Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

It's now or never, or maybe next year, but still, can the Jazz catch the Magic?

Right now there is a 1.0 game difference between where the Orlando Magic stand, and where the Utah Jazz stand. And this 1.0 game difference is really  9.1% difference in Top 3 pick certainty. The NBA Draft is a big deal, and both these teams know it. If there's going to be any possibility of the Jazz tying the Magic in record it would need two things to happen: the Jazz would have to lose to the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight, and more importantly, the Orlando Magic would have to beat the Eastern Conference #1 seed Indiana Pacers.

At full strength this will never happen. But Indy is going to rest a lot of their regular rotation players tonight, so there's a slim chance.

Orlando, predisposed to losing at this time of the year, have lost 15 of their last 19 games. And are currently on a three game skid. They have won 2 of their last 5 though. So there's a chance they are playing with something other than an eye on the clock. I don't expect them to make the same mistake as Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni did two nights ago. They are a team that gets the job done losing right now, and they'll be playing against an East beast that is expected to make a quick meal tonight.

The Pacers are going to play Hill and HIbbert in the first half, but the rest of the team -- the "extras" will probably look to make tonight a statement. That their bench is stronger than the Magic. It may be that much easier with the Magic being down three players, two who start.

If you look at the rosters you get this:

Indy:

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PER BARPS FG% 3PT% FT%
1 George Hill 1 2 75 32.3 10.3 3.7 3.5 1.0 0.3 13.3 18.8 44.2% 36.4% 80.7%
2 Roy Hibbert 5 80 29.9 10.8 6.6 1.1 0.4 2.3 13.6 21.2 44.2% 40.0% 76.8%
3 Evan Turner 3 2 26 20.7 6.8 3.0 2.2 0.4 0.1 8.9 12.5 39.7% 47.8% 67.7%
4 Luis Scola 4 81 17.0 7.6 4.7 1.0 0.3 0.2 13.3 13.8 47.1% 14.3% 72.4%
5 Ian Mahinmi 5 4 77 16.2 3.5 3.3 0.3 0.5 0.9 10.2 8.5 48.1% 0.0% 62.1%
6 Donald Sloan 1 47 7.7 2.1 0.9 1.0 0.2 0.0 8.3 4.2 36.5% 23.1% 60.0%
7 Solomon Hill 3 27 7.4 1.6 1.3 0.4 0.2 0.1 8.0 3.6 44.1% 28.6% 85.7%
8 Rasaul Butler 2 49 7.0 2.4 0.8 0.2 0.1 0.2 11.4 3.7 44.3% 41.4% 70.0%
9 Lavoy Allen 5 13 6.5 2.2 1.8 0.2 0.1 0.4 15.1 4.7 50.0% 60.0%
10 Chris Copeland 4 3 40 6.0 3.4 0.7 0.4 0.1 0.2 17.5 4.8 47.5% 41.2% 71.4%
x Paul George 3 2 80 36.2 21.7 6.8 3.5 1.9 0.3 20.1 34.2 42.4% 36.4% 86.4%
x Lance Stepheonson 2 1 78 35.3 13.8 7.2 4.6 0.7 0.1 14.7 26.4 49.1% 35.2% 71.1%
x David West 4 80 30.9 14.0 6.8 2.8 0.8 0.9 17.5 25.3 48.8% 26.7% 78.9%
x C.J. Watson 1 63 18.9 6.6 1.6 1.7 1.0 0.1 13.0 11.0 43.7% 36.6% 78.4%
x Andrew Bynum 5 2 18.0 11.5 9.5 1.0 0.0 0.5 19.9 22.5 40.9% 71.4%

Orlando:

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PER BARPS FG% 3PT% FT%
1 Arron Afflalo 2 1 72 35.4 18.4 3.6 3.4 0.5 0.0 15.9 25.9 45.8% 42.5% 81.4%
2 Victor Oladipo 2 1 79 31.3 13.9 4.1 4.1 1.6 0.5 13.7 24.2 42.0% 32.9% 78.0%
3 Tobias Harris 3 60 30.7 14.8 7.1 1.4 0.7 0.4 16.5 24.4 46.3% 25.4% 80.7%
4 Maurice Harkless 3 79 24.2 7.3 3.3 1.0 1.2 0.6 11.7 13.4 46.2% 38.8% 59.6%
5 E'Twaun Moore 1 78 18.9 6.2 1.7 1.4 0.8 0.2 11.0 10.3 42.8% 35.8% 75.4%
6 Kyle O'Quinn 5 68 17.2 6.2 5.3 1.1 0.6 1.3 16.8 14.5 50.7% 0.0% 68.8%
7 Andrew Nicholson 4 75 15.2 5.7 3.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 9.9 9.8 42.7% 31.5% 81.8%
8 Jason Maxiell 4 5 33 14.6 3.2 2.6 0.3 0.2 0.6 8.2 6.9 46.5% 48.1%
9 Dewayne Dedmon 5 15 13.8 3.4 4.3 0.1 0.3 0.7 11.8 8.8 44.2% 76.5%
10 Doron Lamb 2 52 12.6 3.5 0.9 0.8 0.2 0.0 7.6 5.4 39.9% 39.8% 80.6%
x Jameer Nelson 1 68 32.0 12.1 3.4 7.0 0.8 0.1 13.8 23.4 39.4% 34.8% 85.7%
x Nikola Vucevic 5 4 79 31.3 13.9 4.1 4.1 1.6 0.5 18.8 24.2 42.0% 32.9% 78.0%
x Romero Osby 4

The only way Orlando wins is if Oladipo decides to try to win the Rookie of the Year trophy by himself, because I don't think he and Afflalo can (with their normal production) beat a Pacers squad that's bigger and better than them -- Scola and Mahinmi will eat them up inside, while Hill (in limited minutes) and Turner (trying to make a case that he should be in the rotation) go to town.

Sorry Jazz, there's NO way that the Magic win tonight.

And our dreams of #3 ping pong balls will go *poof*

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