BOSTON (CBS) – The Celtics have had some really bad losses during their current slump, but Wednesday night’s loss at the buzzer to the Philadelphia 76ers kind of hurt.
The Celtics had a nice run in the fourth quarter to take a lead, but Philly fought back and won it on an Evan Turner layup as time expired. It happened very quickly, so it was relatively painless. But the loss, the C’s fourth straight, dropped Boston to 15-33 and finished up a 2-15 month of January.
But, all is not lost. As Adam Jones tells us, these are the kind of games the Celtics need to be losing in order to assure themselves the best possible lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
“The Celtics have clawed their way up to third in the lottery standings,” said Jones. “Games like this, I’d lose these all day long. This is what you want out of the Celtics. I’m sorry, but it is.”
View: NBA Standings
“There is no longer any grand illusion that the Celtics could sneak in and win the Atlantic. Boston and Phialdelphia are going to be duking it out for a lottery spot along with Orlando and some other Western Conference team,” he said. “Milwaukee is going to get the best chance in the lottery. Where they end up, I don’t know.”
Jones and Rich Keefe played with the numbers, stressing the Celtics need to finish as low as possible.
“If you finish third, it’s important to note that they could end up with the sixth pick. Basicaly you can either pick in the Top 3, no matter where you are among the worst 14 teams, or three spots worse than your odds. So if you’re third overall, you can finish 1-2-3, or 4-5-6. If you’re 10th, you can either finish 1-2-3 or 10-11-12-13,” explained Jones.
“If you want a pick in the Top 5 or 6, which is the lowest you want to draft if you’re the Celtics and you want an impact player, you need to be second or third in the lottery,” he said. “The way it’s gone for the Celtics in the past; they should have had Tim Duncan, they should have had Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.”
“You have to factor in that you can drop three spots in the lottery, it’s happened before. So I’m not comfortable with the Celtics unless they’re second or third,” said Jones. “If they’re four or five, they could be picking seven or eight, somewhere in that range, and instead of getting an impact player, you’re still getting a player with some upside, but they could do a lot better.”
“They need to lose games like (last night) against Philadlephia and Sunday against Orlando,” said Jones.
Jones and Keefe take a listen to Brad Stevens’ comments on Philly’s final possession: