Another night in the NBA, another host of games to figure out. For the NBA Playoffs things are not set in stone, but most of the teams have pretty much punched their ticket for the post season. For the teams looking forwards to the NBA Draft everything still changes every night.
What happened last night?
|1||CHA||East||11||115||-||ATL||East||1||100||Atlanta sat all their good players|
|2||CHI||East||3||111||-||NYK||East||15||80||Chicago players participated in the wave on the bench|
|3||GSW||West||1||108||-||MIL||East||6||95||60 wins are hard to overlook|
|4||UTA||West||11||94||-||OKC||West||8||89||Defense wins. Remember that Enes Kanter.|
|5||POR||West||4||120||-||DEN||West||12||114||LaMarcus Aldridge had 32/11. Not too shabby.|
The Hawks almost have no reason to try to win any more games by playing their best players, for the rest of this regular season. That's how crazy the East is -- you can win the conference by January. Of course, by the same token I think the Warriors did the same thing so who am I to judge? The Knicks were so bad the Bulls fans started the wave. The Bulls were so disinterested in the game that they took part of the wave.
Yup. Denver came back down to Earth by losing, and something something Jazz / Thunder something . . .
NBA Draft Lottery standings:
There were no changes in the Top 8, and no changes in the bottom 8 either. The Hornets, Jazz, Pacers, and Nets all switched spots. In particular interest to Jazz fans one night can change the fate of the lower lotto teams just like that, Utah went from having 4% at a Top 3 pick all the day down to 2.5%. If things went the other way they could have gone from 4% all the way up to 6.1%. The number values are very small, but 2, 4, 6, these are all multiples of two. On any given night you can half your chances, or add +50% to them.
Western Conference standings:
|z - Clinched Conference|
|y - Clinched Division|
|x - Clinched Playoffs|
Unlike in the lotto race, no teams jumped spots at all in the West last night. The Dubs clinched the West, and no new teams locked in their playoff status. But overall things got tighter. There are now only 5.0 games separating the #2 in the West from the #7. Utah is 6.0 games behind Phoenix, but I don't think they're going to catch them, pesky losses at home to Minny, Boston, LA, Orlando, and so forth have ruined that change.
|1||HOU||West||3||@||WAS||East||5||Possible NBA Finals preview. Maybe.|
|2||LAL||West||14||@||BKN||East||9||Possible NBA Lotter preview. Maybe.|
|3||MIN||West||15||@||NOP||West||9||Can't we just re-align the Pellies to the East?|
|4||PHI||East||14||@||CLE||West||2||Lambs to the slaughter|
|5||DET||East||12||@||MIA||East||7||After all these years Tayshaun Prince and Dwyane Wade are still here|
|6||LAC||West||5||@||BOS||East||8||The Kelly Olynyk vs Spencer Hawes battle we've all waited for|
|7||MEM||West||2||@||SAS||West||6||Every game counts in the West, unless you are Gregg Popovich|
|8||DAL||West||7||@||IND||East||10||Monta Ellis vs Damjan Rudez, wait, I already did this joke|
|9||OKC||West||8||@||PHX||West||10||"Do you miss anything about Phoenix?" "The cactus."|
Nine more games on tap, though most people would rather care about the Elite 8, Day 2 -- but hey. I'm fine with that, the Jazz don't play tonight. There are lots of lowly ranked teams on the road, so those should be easy enough to predict. With April right around the corner we know which teams want to win games, and which ones only want to pretend.
There are now only 9 games left this season. That's a bummer. But next season, hopefully, I'll only have to be charting the Western Conference standings -- and not both the NBA Playoffs and NBA Draft Lottery.