Thursday, March 22

Schlep to the Finish

There are about 15 games left on the schedule for the NBA, and the Sonics are in a death match with about five other teams for the 3rd-worst record in the league. It’s not the kind of competition GMs anticipate at the start of the season, but we can’t all have our cake and eat it, too. (Actually, as Sonic fans we don’t even get to look at the cake, let alone eat it).

Here are the Contenders:

Milwaukee: 25-42
Charlotte: 26-43
Philly: 26-42
Seattle: 26-41
Atlanta: 27-42
Portland: 27-40

And a quick look at handicapping (and that is definitely the right word to use for this group) how the rest of their seasons play out.

Milwaukee (15 games left): It’s likely they’ll win a couple of games, as they’re home against Boston, NY, Indy, Atlanta, and Charlotte. FINAL RECORD: 29-53

Charlotte (13 games): The Bobcats have won 4 of 6 and are probably the team least likely to tank the rest of the year, with the exception of the Blazers. FINAL RECORD: 31-51.

Philly (14 games): The Sixers 7-game win streak at the beginning of the month torched their chances at getting the #1 or #2 spot. Philly’s got home games against Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Toronto, plus roadies against NY and the Celtics. FINAL RECORD: 31-51

Seattle (15 games): Thank God for the Western Conference, where teams actually suit up 12 people who can walk and chew gum simultaneously. The Sonics have all of two relatively winnable games left (Memphis and Denver at home), plus the roadie against the Blazers. Minny on the road is possible, but other than that we’re looking at a big ol’ list of Ls. FINAL RECORD: 29-53.

Atlanta (13 games): The Heat snapped ATL’s 5-game home win streak on Wednesday, but the Hawks could still do some damage down the stretch. FINAL RECORD: 31-51

Portland (15 games): Portland’s probably got the hardest schedule to close up, with 9 road games, including the dreaded Texas 3-step. I can see 3 or 4 wins, but no more. FINAL RECORD: 30-52.

With all of that, here’s how the field plays out:
29-53: Seattle, Milwaukee
30-52: Portland
31-51: Charlotte, Philly, Atlanta
A Sonic loss to Portland on the road (entirely possible) would put them at 28-54, provided they don’t screw up and win a game they shouldn’t. How Ray Allen decides to finish the year will be huge; if he decides to sit, I think the Sonics are the odds-on favorite to finish with the 3rd-worst record.

We’ll check in tomorrow with how the team with the 3rd-worst record has fared in the draft the past few years.


Anonymous said...

Nice breakdown. Unfortunately, for us Sixers fans at least, I think the Sixers are going to finish with more than 31 wins.

Eric Reynolds said...

Lose lose LOSE! Go SONICS!

Anonymous said...

I think you're being overly optimistic about the Sixers (which, considering the site's name, is sort of ironic, don't you think?). Sweeping the Magic and Cavs would be pretty unlikely, right? Obviously, playoff seedings will come into play; if the Cavs have locked up their spot then you'll be getting the David Wesley show, and that could wind up being a win for the Sixers.