It is sad that it has come down to this, a proud franchise that has a rich history of winning championships is now relegated to benefiting by losing. The Los Angeles Lakers will play in their final home game this season when they play the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night; they will then finish out their season with 2 games on the road. If the Lakers lose out in their final 3 games they will do no worst (or better depending on how you look at it) than the 4th spot in the NBA Draft Lottery which will be held on May 20th.
The Lakers are in a battle for that 4th spot with the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, both of which have 2 games remaining on their schedule. The Celtics can finish no worst than 25-57, same as the Lakers.
The Lakers face the Jazz on Monday in Utah what will sadly become a vital game in determining their spots in the draft where the loser is in fact the winner in terms of draft positioning. The Jazz are currently 24-56, but with a win against the Lakers on Monday, they would also be able to do no worst than 25-57, same as the Lakers and Celtics.
The 4th spot in the NBA Draft Lottery earns a team an 11.9 percent chance of winning the top pick in the draft and a 37.8 percent chance of nabbing 1 of the to 3 picks.
In the event that teams finish with the same record, each tied team receives the average of the total number of combinations for the positions that they occupy. This scenario could very well play out with the Lakers, Jazz and Celtics.
Should the average number not be an integer, a coin flip is then used to determine which team or teams receive the extra combination or combinations. The result of the coin flip also is used to determine who receives the earlier pick in the event that neither of the tied teams wins one of the first three picks via the lottery.
The Lakers are in position to cash in on their horrid season but they need to finish strong. In this bizarro of a season, finishing strong for the Lakers means losing the rest of the way.
– Fern Rea
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