It’s been pretty well-chronicled that if the Lakers end with the NBA’s second-worst file, they enter the draft lottery with a 55.Eight-percent probability to land a top-three decide, and thus keep away from having to ship it to Philadelphia. End with the third-worst file, and the Lakers’ retention probability drops to 46.9 p.c.
However what if the Lakers and Phoenix find yourself tied for the second-worst file, as appears more and more potential? Get that coin prepared prematurely of the Might 16 draft lottery.
The Suns fell to 22-52 with Sunday’s loss to Charlotte, whereas the Lakers entered their night recreation towards Portland with a 21-51 file. Brooklyn has all however clinched the league’s worst file, whereas Orlando and Sacramento clearly are “battling” for the fourth-worst file.
The NBA’s draft-selection system is advanced, however consider it this manner: every of the 14 non-playoff groups primarily has numerous lottery tickets, and hopes to match the successful ping-pong ball mixture.
If the Lakers end second, they’ll have 199 units of four-number mixtures, out of 1,000. In the event that they end third, they’ll maintain 156 mixtures.
If the Lakers and Suns tie for second, every crew as an alternative will obtain 177 mixtures, whereas a 178th mixture might be decided by a coin flip.
In fact, no person will ever know whether or not that specific additional mixture finally ends up being a winner, however as with all lottery, the extra tickets one holds, the higher. The NBA holds separate attracts for the primary, second and third draft picks.
If nothing else, the Lakers can hope for continued luck. Final season, they completed with the second-worst file and thus had solely a 38.7 p.c probability of drafting No. 1 or No. 2. One in every of their four-number mixtures got here up for the No. 2 decide, which they used to draft Brandon Ingram.
Ingram missed Sunday’s recreation due to tendinitis in his proper knee, an harm that stored him out of the fourth quarter and time beyond regulation in Friday evening’s recreation.
“Not that it’s horrible,” Coach Luke Walton stated of Ingram’s harm. “He was on the market warming up (pregame). It wasn’t proper. He desires to play. That’s the kind of younger man he’s.”
Corey Brewer changed Ingram and made his first begin with the Lakers. Ingram had appeared in all 72 Lakers video games this season, with averages of 9.zero factors and four.1 rebounds per recreation.
The NCAA event is right down to its last 4 groups, which suggests one thing to Walton. Not solely did Walton make the Ultimate 4 in 2001 with Arizona – the Wildcats misplaced within the championship recreation – but when the Lakers maintain their excessive decide, they’ll have two first-round picks on this 12 months’s draft.
Magic Johnson and Lakers common supervisor Rob Pelinka have been scouting event video games in particular person, and Walton stated he’s most to see how prospects deal with stress.
“In my restricted expertise in evaluating,” Walton stated, “that’s the factor I’m on the lookout for probably the most, (is) how they rise to the problem in ‘one or executed’ sort issues and the way they’re successful or dropping.”
Neither the Lakers nor the Suns maintain a big edge in terms of remaining opponents.
The Lakers play 5 groups with data above .500 (Washington, the Clippers, Memphis, San Antonio and Golden State) and 4 groups with data under .500 (Minnesota twice, Sacramento and New Orleans). The Lakers have a 5-15 file in earlier video games towards these groups this season.
Phoenix performs 5 groups with data above .500 (Atlanta, the Clippers, Houston, Golden State and Oklahoma Metropolis) and three groups with data under .500 (Portland, Dallas and Sacramento). The Suns have a 6-16 file in earlier video games towards these groups this season.
The Lakers’ last opponents entered Sunday with a collective successful share of .547 this season, whereas the Suns’ last opponents had a .558 successful share. In fact, given the inclination of some playoff-bound groups to relaxation gamers, going through successful groups may not be a dependable predictor.