It couldn’t be more ON.

This isn’t going to be pretty. But I have to go. It’s my last game of the season as a (partial) season ticket holder, and it has the potential to blow up the Unintentional Comedy Scale. That said, unlike bad movies or bad music, there’s no inherent ironic pleasure from watching bad basketball. It can be sickening and depressing, and at this point in The Year of the Tank (in the NBA, not specifically with the Raptors) I’ve seen enough bad basketball to last 5 more Anthony Davis Sweepstakes seasons.

But the rules say they have to play the games. So the Nets will come to town on Thursday to do battle with the Raptors, and the result could have far-reaching ramifications. I’ll save the pre-game and post-game for those scheduled, but allow me a “best” and “worst” case scenario in terms of lottery odds. In the cases below, I have used “chance of landing the #1 pick” as “Odds,” but you could certainly extend the exercise to include chances at a top-3, top-5, etc.

Team Wins Losses Games Wed Thurs “Best” “Worst” Best Odds Worst Odds Diff
Charlotte 7 57 2 @Orl NY 1 1 0.25 0.25 0
Washington 18 46 2 @Cle Mia 2 2 0.199 0.199 0
New Orleans 21 44 1 @Hou 3 7 0.156 0.043 0.113
Sacramento 21 44 1 LAL 3 7 0.156 0.043 0.113
Cleveland 21 43 2 Was @Chi 3 8 0.156 0.028 0.128
Toronto 22 43 1 NJ 3 8 0.156 0.028 0.128
New Jersey 22 43 1 @Tor 3 8 0.156 0.028 0.128
Golden State 23 42 1 SA 6 9 0.063 0.017 0.046
Detroit 24 41 1 Phi 8 9 0.028 0.017 0.011
Minnesota 26 39 1 Den 10 10 0.011 0.011 0
Portland 28 37 1 @Uta 11 11 0.008 0.008 0
Milwaukee 31 33 2 Phi @Bos 12 14 0.007 0.005 0.002
Houston 33 32 1 NO 13 14 0.006 0.005 0.001
Phoenix 33 32 1 SA 13 14 0.006 0.005 0.001

Best Case
NJ d. Tor
Cle d. Was
Cle d. Chi
Sac d LAL
NO d. Hou

Does this seem like a long-shot? Of course it is, but the Bulls,  and Rockets all have nothing left to play for, so it’s not entirely inconceivable.

Result: The Raptors move into a 3-way tie with Nawlins and Sacto for the 3rd worst record in the league.

Worst Case
Tor d. NJ
SA d. GS

This seems more plausible, yes?

Result: The Raptors fall into a two-team tie with G-State for the 8th-worst record in the league.

The swing here for the Raptors is a full 12.8%, ranking from just 2.8% (worst case, and a lost coin-flip with the Warriors) to 15.6% (best case, and a won coin-flip with the Hornets and Kings). It also seems a lot more likely that the “worst” case happens.

Middle Ground
NJ d. Tor
Cle splits Was/Chi
LAL d. Sac, Hou d. NO

This scenario has the Raptors lose, the Cavs beat the lowly-but-hot Wizards, and the other bad teams lose as expected.

Result: The Raptors end in a two-team tie with Cleveland for the 5th-worst record, giving them an 8.8% shot (if they win a coin flip) or 6.3% shot (if they lose the coin flip).

Anyway…no real point to this article other than as an update of the “Lottery Standings” or “Tank Artillery Standings.” Enjoy the Worst Basketball Game Ever.