So now that we're tracking both the playoffs (the usual) and the lotto (the new) we have an expanded "While you were sleeping" schedule to track. Here was all the action from last night:
- The Jazz lost to the Knicks, it was not pretty, but Utah is only 0.5 games behind the Lakers right now for worst in the Western Conference, and only 2.5 games behind the Magic for the #3 seed in the lottery.
- The Celtics beat the Nets, and they are tied with the Jazz in record now. Hopefully they continue to try to win games . . . if they can beat an East playoff team then they should be able to beat up on this 20 team group easily. They only play 20 more games and 13 of them are against these teams detailed here.
- The Timberwolves beat the Pistons. I think the Pistons are too far back right now from the Jazz (3.0 games), and they play nearly half of their games remaining against the worst 5 teams in the league (so we expect them to win), but you never know what will happen. Because I expect DET to win the Wolves winning was win-win in a way because they are chasing the Dubs. They are very far behind right now (7.0 games) but you can't give up hoo-oope! MIN has won 7 of their last 10 games.
- The Grizzlies beat the Bulls. I'll never be confused for a Bulls fan, as most Jazz fans wont, so this was win-win for me too. The Grizz are another team chasing the Dubs, and they are another team in the chase who won last night. They are only 3.0 games from GSW, and MEM has won 7 of their last 10 games.
- The Mavericks beat the Trail Blazers -- and this is great. The three teams chasing Golden State who played last night all won. The Mavs are beating some really tough teams of late, and that's going to be necessary. Only 6 of their last 19 games are against cellar dwellers. They are going to have to keep it up if they are going to catch and surpass the Warriors.
- The Warriors beat the Hawks. Paul Millsap came back, but he can't do it all, and the Warriors were at home. Golden State really knows they have trouble at their back but they have responded by winning 8 of the last 10 games. The 14 point win against ATL (in the middle of a long road trip) looked easy. They may not be catch-able right now.
- The Lakers lost to the Nuggets, and it didn't even look like they are trying right now. So, I guess what I'm saying is congrats on tanking successfully. The Jazz tanked in free agency and the off-season, but have the players trying to win games. The Lakers built their team in the off-season to win this year, but their players are losing games. Opposing strategies. Lakers remains 0.5 games ahead of us right now.
- The Kings lost to the Raptors, which is what we expected. Sacramento is only 1.0 games behind us.
- The Cavaliers lost to the Bobcats, also expected, and Cleveland is only 2.5 games behind us.
- The Bucks lost to the Pelicans. Godspeed, Milwaukee. You have 49 losses now.
Movers and Shakers:
- Philly is horrible, ser y estar.They have lost 15 in a row.
- Golden State is 8-2 in their last 10 and getting better.
- The Lakers and Jazz both jumped the Celtics last night.
- Boston, NY, New Orleans, Denver, and Minny all took one step closer to the playoffs. The sad thing here is that none of them are really going to make it, why Boston is even trying to win games at this stage . . . they may have a handshake agreement with Silver or something.
- The Pistons are once again a bottom 10 team after flirting with being just mediocre.
- Atlanta is slowly getting less injured, but if they are going to the playoffs they should start winning some games. They are 1-9 in their last 10 and Paul Millsap can't do it all. (And we know that he came back early because he's a warrior and playing hurt)
- Brooklyn needs to figure itself out, you can't lose to the Celtics. They were in that 16-20 range for a New York minute.
- The big race is going to be that Golden State one. And the race looks all but decided. The Warriors also play 8 of their last 19 games against the bottom 5. If they are going to be caught the other teams are really going to have to beat good teams to get there.
The Big Board:
|Record||Last 10||Remaining||Standings||Game Result|
|1||Milwaukee Bucks||12||49||20%||0.0||3||7||30%||21||11||6||East 15||1||@ NOP||L||vs WAS|
|2||Philadelphia 76ers||15||46||25%||3.0||0||10||0%||21||13||7||East 14||2||vs UTA|
|3||Orlando Magic||19||44||30%||6.0||3||7||30%||19||12||4||East 13||3||vs SAS|
|4||Los Angeles Lakers||21||42||33%||8.0||3||7||30%||19||10||5||West 15||4||@ DEN||L|
|5||Utah Jazz||21||41||34%||8.5||2||8||20%||20||15||5||West 14||5||@ NYK||L||@ PHI|
|6||Boston Celtics||21||41||34%||8.5||3||7||30%||20||13||6||East 12||6||vs BKN||W|
|7||Sacramento Kings||22||40||35%||9.5||5||5||50%||20||14||5||West 13||7||@ TOR||L|
|8||New York Knicks||23||40||37%||10.0||3||7||30%||19||13||9||East 11||8||3*||vs UTA||W||@ CLE|
|9||Cleveland Cavaliers||24||39||38%||11.0||4||6||40%||19||13||7||East 10||9||@ CHA||L||vs NYK|
|10||Detroit Pistons||24||38||39%||11.5||2||8||20%||20||12||8||East 9||10||@ MIN||L|
|11||New Orleans Pelicans||25||37||40%||12.5||2||8||20%||20||10||4||West 12||11||vs MIL||W|
|12||Atlanta Hawks||26||34||43%||14.5||1||9||10%||22||14||7||East 8||@ GSW||L||@ LAC|
|13||Denver Nuggets||27||34||44%||15.0||3||7||30%||21||12||3||West 11||12||4*||vs LAL||W|
|14||Charlotte Bobcats||29||33||47%||16.5||6||4||60%||20||15||7||East 7||vs CLE||W||@ MEM|
|15||Brooklyn Nets||30||30||50%||18.5||6||4||60%||22||17||10||East 6||1*||@ BOS||L|
|16||Minnesota Timberwolves||31||30||51%||19.0||7||3||70%||21||15||7||West 10||13||vs DET||W|
|17||Memphis Grizzlies||35||26||57%||23.0||7||3||70%||21||14||5||West 9||14||@ CHI||W||vs CHA|
|18||Dallas Mavericks||37||26||59%||24.0||6||4||60%||19||14||6||West 8||vs POR||W|
|19||Phoenix Suns||36||25||59%||24.0||6||4||60%||21||14||7||West 7|
|20||Golden State Warriors||39||24||62%||26.0||8||2||80%||19||15||8||West 6||2*||vs ATL||W|
|1* - ATL has right to swap picks with BKN|
|2* - UTA owns GSW pick|
|3* - DEN owns NYK pick|
|4* - DEN owes ORL their lower of their two 1st round picks|
We're getting into the part of the season where these 20 teams seem to just play one another almost exclusively.
- The Bucks play the Wizards, at home
- The 76ers play the Jazz, at home <-- Philly's team will not let us lose
- The Magic play the Spurs, at home
- The Knicks play the Cavaliers, in Cleveland <-- 0.5 games between these clubs
- The Hawks play the Clippers, in LA
- The Bobcats play the Grizzlies, at home <-- lets go Memphis!
So hopefully the Jazz will do Jazz things, and Memphis picks up 0.5 games on Golden State, making it only a 2.5 game difference.