Previewing tonight’s action, we take a look — as we have basically every day this awful season — at Boston’s lottery odds.
Right now, Boston has three potential finishes:
1. Tied for fourth with Utah. Boston would have a 10.35 percent chance at the top pick, and a 33.5 percent chance at a top-3 pick. The Celtics only get these odds if they lose to Washington tonight and Utah beats Minnesota.
2. Alone at fifth. Boston would have an 8.8 percent chance at the top pick, and a 29.2 percent chance at the top-3. The Celtics get these odds if they lose to Washington and Utah loses to Minnesota. Alternatively, the standings would finish like this if Boston beats Washington and the Lakers beat whatever collection of scrubs Gregg Popovich puts out on the floor. The loss to Washington combined with Utah’s win over Minnesota seems the most likely option.
3. Tied for fifth with the Lakers. Boston would have a 7.55 percent chance at the top pick, and a 25.35 percent chance at the top-3. The Celtics get these odds if they beat Washington and the Lakers lose to San Antonio. This possibility seems…annoyingly plausible.
As you can see, none of these finishes make an enormous difference in terms of the lottery. The big advantage in being tied for fourth is that Boston would still have a chance at the fourth pick if they missed the lottery. The fourth pick, of course, would guarantee one of Wiggins/Parker/Embiid/Exum.
All of that aside, no pick likely to be obtained with these finishes is going to be bad. As a result, it might be best to just sit back and watch a basketball game this evening.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.