With two games to go, the schedule is tightening up, and the Raptors have some wiggle room to move into the top-5 in terms of lottery balls. As it stands, this is what we’re looking at for the remaining games of the bottom feeders in the league:

Charlotte (7-56), Washington (17-46) and New Orleans (20-44)
Have the top three locked up, no chance anyone catches them. If Washington wins their remaining three games, and New Orleans loses their remaining two, they could potentially switch spots.
Effect on Raptors Draft Position: niente

Sacramento (21-43)
Have a game on the Raptors, but play the Thunder then Lakers this week. The Thunder are playing for home-court in the West, and the Lakers are playing for home-court in the 1st two-rounds.
Effect on Raptors Draft Position: should maintain 4th

Cleveland (21-42)
Play Memphis, Washington and Chicago this week. The Grizzlies are trying to secure home-court for their first round against the Clippers, so they will be playing for a win; even against the Wizards; and the Bulls could just rest everyone on the last game of the season, but since it’s a homegame, they might play hard in the 1st half and try to put it away early to maintain some momentum heading into the playoffs.
Effect on Raptors Draft Position: probably finish 5th

Toronto (22-42)
Milwaukee tonight, the Nets (below) on Thursday. They sit a game ahead of the Nets for 6th. Milwaukee needs to win every game and hope the Knicks lose to sneak into the playoffs; I expect them to playing for wins because a) Scott Skiles is an animal and wont lie down b) winning their last three games wont affect their draft position considering Portland is fully in tank mode with Aldridge shut down for the season. If DeRozan gets sat like he did last night, both these games could be less watchable than last nights Pistons one and result in losses.
Effect on Raptors Draft Position: high risk to finish 7th

New Jersey (22-42)
Sixers tonight and the Raptors on Thursday. With Philly one game out of 8th, you expect them to come out guns-blazing tonight for the win; I’m putting that down as a loss for the Nets.
Effect on Raptors Draft Position: mild risk to finish 6th

Golden State (23-41)
New Orleans tonight, San Antonio on Thursday. Even if they lose both games, they will need both the Nets and Raptors to win at least one of their remaining games, and have the tie-breaker go in their favour. Seeing as they beat the hapless Timberwolves last night, and all the stupid moves they’ve made this season, I wouldn’t put it past them to jump all over the Spurs who will be resting everyone.
Effect on Raptors Draft Position: should finish 8th

So to recap:

  • the Raptors can’t move any higher than 6th unless the Cavs win their remaining three and the Raptors lose both of theirs
  • To guarantee a 6th place finish, they will need to lose both remaining games
  • If they win 1 of their remaining 2 games, the Nets will also have to win at least 1 of their remaining 2 for the Raptors to maintain 6th.

Just to rub salt on an open wound, if the Raptors lost those two games against the Celtics and Hawks, they would sitting nice in 4th right now; the two single most expensive wins in franchise history.

Since we’re talking about lottery odds and not actually landing the 5th, 6th or 7th selection, the luck of the draw will play a huge part. You can almost hear Colangelo and Casey screaming at each other over the playing time strategy of those who haven’t already been shut down for the season.

The Bucks are 8 point favourites for tonight, and considering it’s on the second night of a back-to-back, the odds are in our favour; for once.

Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

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22 Responses to “Gameday: Raptors @ Bucks – Apr. 23/12”

  1. Brian Gerstein

    You are so right about the shouting match between Colangelo and Casey behind closed doors, as to date Colangelo has made little headway, that is until now, when DeMar was shut down in the 4th under the guise of evaluating the rest of our talent, like we don’t already know, plus how much can you learn in a game where the Pistons have as much desire as we do to lose. 

    Those two recent wins against Boston and Atlanta were inexcusable, and since then, Colangelo no doubt has been in Casey’s ear bigtime to make up for it.  You do have to go further back in time though, as even before we were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, when it is safe to say that we have no realistic chance to catch the 8th spot, changes should have been made then personnel wise to give us as much chance as possible to grab lottery balls.  New Orleans late season surge has even magnified this more, as we could be sitting pretty in the 4 hole with some tweaks.

    Colangelo managed expectations well entering this season.  We are not a playoff team, we are changing the culture, and are looking for a high draft pick to enable us to add much needed talent along with Jonas in 2012/13.  Once Casey established himself as a bonafide NBA coach, and a damn good one, and once the culture was changed, the mission was accomplished, and personnel and PT decisions needed to be made to help us finish at the bottom of the standings. 

    Let’s hope that next year we make substantial improvement in a weak Eastern Conference where we will be in the playoff hunt, and not have to worry about tanking, because I can’t take another year of this.

    • sleepz

      A very good post and once they were out of contention for the 8th spot your point is bang on.

      The only part I would disagree with is I can’t say the “culture has changed” completely. It’s been altered but there has been remenants of the Colangelo era still surrounding this team on various levels. 

    • why

      Blame The Celtics and Hawks for abysmal efforts in losing to a collection of D leaguers and backups the Raps put up against them.

    • CJT

      I understand the fans’ attitude towards getting the best odds possible, but to call winning games two of the easts best teams with D league talent inexcusable is brutal.  Someone says it later, but put the blame on those teams for losing to the Raptors, not on the players on the floor for playing the game.  That would be inexcusable.

      • Destro

        You’re talking about things not said,nobody is blaming the players who played….Clearly the blame is being put on Casey who should have sat players down to ensure certain games your not supposed to win you DONT win so you dont wind up finishing where they are….This team cant even tank properly smh… 

        • Beaverboi

          Didn’t Toronto have two D-leaguers start those games?? Who was Casey supposed to play, some kid from the third row? They had a shitty line up and still won. You can’t put that on Casey. The C’s and Hawks should be embarrassed of those losses.

          • Destro

            Yes play Nav Bhatia i dont care….just dont fuck this up and take yourself out of the top 5…

            • Nilanka15

              I don’t blame Casey.  Like the players, he should be expected to give 100% effort every night.  And we certainly can’t blame Colangelo because he did everything in his power to put together a shitty roster (Butler, Magloire, Gray, Carter, Uzoh, Anderson, Dentmon, etc.).

              It’s just that this team has played above their abilities basically all season.  The ATL and BOS wins were unfortunate circumstances as a result, but I wouldn’t “blame” any one person for it.

  2. Puffer

     the two single most expensive wins in franchise history.”
    A little presumptuous, since you are probably talking about finishing 6-7th instead of 4th. So how much difference will drafting 2-3 positions back in the selections make? You won’t really know for three years. The odds of landing Davis are only about 1 in 7 drafting 4th. I don’t see a huge difference in the players in the draft between 4 and 7. Questions about all of them except Davis.

    • Sam Holako

      I don’t think it’s too presumptuous; if the balls fall where they should, a 4th pick is much more valuable than a 6th or 7th pick. There is the question of having a larger pool of players to choose from, especially if other teams are interested in the pick and want to trade up; more leverage.

  3. leftovercrack

    I’d like to get one of AD, MKG or Beal. After that I’d almost rather the 6-9 pick and save some money on the signing

  4. Berry

    2011 Clippers, 6th worst record, won the lottery (pick traded to Cavs). 

    2010 Wizards, 5th worst record, won lottery.

    2009 Clippers, 2nd worst, won lottery.

    2008 Bulls, 9th worst, won lottery.

    2007 Trail Blazers, 6th worst, won lottery.

    2006 Raptors, 5th worst, won lottery.

    2005 Bucks, 6th worst, won lottery.

    In the past 7 years at least, 5th or 6th spot wasn’t too bad of a spot to pick from.

    • Nilanka15

      It’s all about probabilities.  5th or 6th isn’t as good as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

      • Berry

        That’s true, but looking at history, Since the weighted lottery system introduced in 1990, only three teams with the worst record went on to win the lottery while only four teams with the second-worst record have won the lottery. (via Wiki).

        • Joe

          That doesn’t make the odds this time around any better – not how probability works. Historic results have no bearing whatsoever on how the lottery turns out this year.

  5. Darien

    The Boston and Atlanta wins were pretty devastating. Effing Boston screws us in all ways possible. I hope they get swept in an embarrassing fashion.


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