BOSTON (CBS) – The Celtics fell to 23-55 Wednesday night after a 105-97 loss to the Hawks in Atlanta, a game in which the opposing team ended the game on a 25-8 run to seal it up.
That’s now nine straight losses in a row for Brad Stevens’ team, including just 1-9 in their last 10 games.
Some fans don’t wanna hear it because of their undying love for the team, but this latest loss was “perfect” for the C’s in terms of their future. 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones explained why following the game.
“This couldn’t have gone any better for the Celtics tonight. They led by nine points for god sakes in the middle of the fourth quarter, and it looked like between Jeff Green’s shooting at the end of the third, and Avery Bradley’s shooting midway through the fourth that they were gonna shoot their way out of this one, which is exactly what you didn’t want.
“Meanwhile, the real Celtics fans are following along watching Orlando take on a shorthanded Brooklyn team and win. So if you’re sitting there and watching this unfold you’re saying, ‘The Celtics are gonna piss this chance away.’ They would have missed a great opportunity to jump in front, or at least tie Orlando for third in the NBA lottery.”
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Third in the lottery. . . fourth in the lottery. . . fifth in the lottery — what’s the difference?”
Well, Rich Keefe ran the numbers and the difference is stark.
“The difference between the fourth and fifth pick is the most significant of the jumps. I don’t wanna bore you with the numbers, but basically right now the Celtics are tied for third, so they’d be splitting ping pong balls with the Orlando Magic if it ended this way. No coin flip, no tiebreaker — you just cut the lottery odds in half. So right now both teams have a 14% chance of getting the no. 1 overall pick and 42% chance of a top three pick. But if you have the fifth worst record you have almost a 45% chance of picking fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth — that’s pretty drastic.”
Scouts have told everyone from the get-go that this upcoming draft class is the NBA’s best in a decade, and while Jabari Parker and Julius Randle have yet to declare, the difference between having the fifth worst record and the third worst record could mean landing a role player instead of an All Star.
Keefe summed it up nicely when he said, “There may be some of you out there that wanna see this team win a close one, but the reality is you can really damage your draft position with a couple of meaningless wins here down the stretch.”
When the month of April began, the odds of catching Orlando looked bleak at best, but after nine straight losses for the C’s and two straight wins for the Magic, both teams are tied for the NBA’s third worst record with four games to go.
Celtics Remaining Schedule:
– vs. Charlotte (40-38)
– at Cleveland (32-47)
– at Philadelphia (17-61)
– vs. Washington (40-38)
Magic Remaining Schedule:
– vs. Washington (40-38)
– at Brooklyn (43-35)
– at Chicago (46-32)
– at Indiana (54-25)
Listen below for the full discussion: