We’re only 23 games away from being able to put this season behind us. The Suns are getting some distance between the Nets and Timberwolves, but have some work to do to catch the Lakers and 76ers in the chase for ping pong balls.
It’s time for our weekly 2016 NBA Draft Lottery Watch.
1. Philadelphia 76ers (8-51)
Last Week: 0-4 with losses to the Magic (twice), Pistons and Wizards.
It was a plethora of losing for the Sixers as they lost all four games they played. Philly has dropped eight straight and after a stretch of reasonable play it’s starting to get ugly again. The average margin of defeat in the four losses was 10.5 points.
This Week: Four games — Monday at Wizards, Wednesday vs. Hornets, Friday vs. Heat, Sunday at Heat
There’s a very real possibility the 76ers losing streak hits 12.
2. Los Angeles Lakers (11-49)
Last Week: 0-3 with two losses to the Grizzlies and a defeat at the hands of the Bucks.
LA’s losing streak has also reached eight games. They want to keep that draft pick for another year badly!
This Week: Four games — Tuesday vs. Nets, Wednesday at Nuggets, Friday vs. Hawks, Sunday vs. Warriors
The Lakers have a big one Tuesday against the Nets. For some terrible reason, ABC is showing the Lakers-Warriors matchup on Sunday. Thanks for making me have to find something to do on a Sunday afternoon.
3. Phoenix Suns (15-44)
Last Week: 1-2 with a win at home against the Grizzlies and losses to the Clippers and Nets.
Phoenix dropped the key one losing to the Nets at home on Thursday, but surprised the Grizzlies on Friday to end a 13-game losing streak. It was Earl Watson’s first win, but I don’t agree with some of the decisions he’s making. Running Tyson Chandler and Alex Len together doesn’t make sense — let them each play with one of Mirza Teletovic or Jon Leuer to create better spacing.
This Week: Four Games — Tuesday at Hornets, Thursday at Heat, Friday at Magic and Sunday at Grizzlies
It’s a four-game road trip before returning home to face the Knicks on March 9. The Suns play six of their next seven games on the road.
4. Brooklyn Nets (17-42)
Last Week: 2-1 with wins against the Suns and Jazz, plus a loss to the Blazers.
The Nets are having a completely respectable road trip and are 2-1 since waiving Joe Johnson, who wound up with the Heat. Brooklyn is playing decent basketball of late going 5-4 in its last nine games. The team with no incentive to lose is still trying.
This Week: Four Games — Monday at Clippers, Tuesday at Lakers, Friday at Nuggets and Saturday at Timberwolves
Brooklyn continues its nine-game road trip and has three more winnable games, but the Lakers and Timberwolves are second half of back-to-backs.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves (19-41)
Last Week: 2-2 with wins against the Celtics and Pelicans. The losses were to the Raptors and Mavericks.
It was a pretty impressive week for the T’Wolves considering the competition. They held off the Celtics and pulled off a nice rally against the Pelicans. Sunday, Minnesota was blown out by Dallas (128-101).
This Week: Three Games — Wednesday vs. Wizards, Friday at Bucks, Saturday vs. Nets
None of these games would be a shocking win, but the Wizards are playing better. There is potential for Minnesota to continue to separate itself from the other four if they beat the Nets.
- ESPN’s first 2018 NBA mock draft has the Suns taking Luka Doncic
- Marvin Bagley commits to Duke, could add to 2018 NBA Draft crop
- The 5: Intriguing items on the Suns’ 2017-18 schedule
- Suns’ 2017-18 schedule includes 13 nationally-televised games
- Suns’ Josh Jackson: Trade to Cleveland ‘would’ve happened by now’