Around this time of year I often map out all of the teams close to us in the standings, and see who needs to win/lose what games for us to get into the playoffs (no, there is no point many years.)
This year, with all the anticipation for the draft class of 2012, i've been anxiously watching who loses!
As it stands today:
1. Charlotte: 7-50. Bottom spot, but it's so rare that the team with the most balls actually gets #1.
2. Washington: 14-44
3. New Orleans: 16-42
-That's the bottom three, with almost 100% certainty. After that, there is a glut.
4. Sacramento: 19-40. Opponents (OKC, Portland, Spurs, OKC, Bobcats, OKC, Lakers) = 2 winnable
5. Toronto: 20-39. (Boston, ATL, ATL, HEAT, Pistons, Bucks, Nets) = 2 winnable
6. Cleveland: 19-37. (Pacers, Wiz, Magic, Pistons, sixers, knicks, spurs, griz, wiz, bulls) = 3 winnable
7. New Jersey: 21-38. (sixers, celtics, HEAT, knicks, bucks, sixers, Raps) = 1 winnable
8/9. Golden State and Detroit both have 22 wins, and I don't see us passing them at this point.
Yes, any team can win any night in the NBA - especially if some teams rest stars for the playoffs, but that's the scene.
My prediction? Cleveland and New Jersey stay ahead of us ... Sacramento stays behind ... 5th spot (SAME spot we were in when we rose to #1 in the lottery to grab Bargnani)