Wemby Watch: Where are the lottery odds for Victor Wembanyama as the NBA season ends

There are five days of basketball remaining in the regular season, but only two teams have officially won their lottery slots. The Detroit Pistons have just 16 wins. Everyone has at least 20, so the Pistons will take the No. 1 spot on lottery night. The Charlotte Hornets have 26 wins. Everyone above them has at least 33 and everyone below them has 20, so they’re locked in slot #4.

But literally, every slot on lottery night is always up for grabs. Currently, there are three key races to follow:

  • The Rockets and Spurs are tied with 20 wins each. Both will have a 14% shot on Victor Wembanyama, but finishing in second place is still important as it ensures you can’t pick less than No. 6 overall.
  • The Portland Trail Blazers control their own destiny in fifth place with 33 wins, and despite their historic upset against the Minnesota Timberwolves, they are doing everything in their power to stay there. Portland is running out of lineups full of players you’ve never heard of, and they’ll have to because there are three teams (the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, and Orlando Magic) tied with 34 wins. behind them. Portland doesn’t want to be part of a tie with these teams, so expect them to continue trotting through the G-League lineups.
  • For now, the Dallas Mavericks seem to be focused on their playoff push. However, it should be noted that they have only won one game more than the Utah Jazz, and slipping to No. 9 in the draft would actually do them a lot of good. As it stands, their pick goes to the Knicks if he lands anywhere between No. 11 and No. 30. If the Mavericks stay at No. 10, they’ll likely still keep their pick, but the would lose if someone between 11-14 jumps into the top four. That’s unlikely, but just to be sure, slipping to No. 9 would pretty much secure them their own first-round pick this year.

In all likelihood, there will be ties that will need to be severed when the dust settles. Unlike playoff tiebreakers, lottery tiebreakers follow no complicated protocols. They are simply settled by lottery. Is that a little disappointing given the stakes here? Of course. But remember, until 1984, the No. 1 pick was literally determined by a coin toss. Things could be much worse.

Wemby impresses with his comeback dunk

It’s one thing for Wembanyama to insistently return a setback. He’s done it time and time again this season with the Mets 92, including in a winner of the game earlier this year. It’s a whole other thing to do… whatever he did on Sunday.

Wembanyama, as he is wont to do, rolled out a daring 3-point step back against Pro A leaders Monaco, and although he missed the shot, he was – somewhat miraculously – ​​able not only to recover his rebound, but to corner it at home. bounce. Look at this.

I repeat: WATCH THIS. Here’s another angle, because there’s not enough to say how impressive this piece is. One-handed? Out of rebound? Load in traffic? Are you kidding?!

Wembanyama finished with just eight points against Monaco in a blowout 87-68 loss, his lowest points total in a game this season, but he was still able to add 14 rebounds and three blocks in the loss.

Watch Wemby

With a defeat to league leaders Monaco in the rear view mirror, Mets 92 face the almost guaranteed prospect of finishing second in the Pro A this season. But there is still a lot to play for as the season continues on Saturday at the Mets against Strasbourg. A win would avenge an earlier loss to Strasburg that came in excruciating fashion as the Mets squandered a brilliant 26-point, 18-rebound performance from Wembanyama. The game is his last for almost three weeks before a hiatus until the last week of April.

Race down

Each week, we’ll rank the seven teams most likely to win the coveted top spot on lottery night. These rankings will consider current record, recent performance, upcoming schedule, and injuries to subjectively rank the worst teams in the NBA.

7. Indiana Pacers: You did it, Orlando! It took the whole season, but the Orlando Magic, winners of six of their last 10 games, finally came out of the last seven. Sure, you could say they sacrificed a golden opportunity to add a premium draft pick, but it’s not like they’ve fallen to the 14th lottery slot. The Magic have proven they have a future. Indiana too. Without injuries, they would be in the play-in race right now. The same can’t be said for Washington, earning the Wizards a smooth tiebreaker in the race to the bottom.

6. Washington Wizards: There are finally signs of life from Johnny Davis. The 2022 lottery pick scored 16 total points in Washington’s first 67 games because he was so ineffective he spent most of the season in the G-League, but he’s now doubled numbers five times in the past month. Tuesday against the Bucks, he scored 20 points for the first time in the NBA. The Wizards could still have a player.

5. Portland Trail Blazers: On Sunday, the Blazers finished biggest upset of the regular season in recorded NBA history. As 19.5-point underdogs, they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves to earn a win they desperately didn’t want. They came dangerously close to winning another game on Tuesday when they managed to get ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies early in the fourth quarter. The Blazers have to be careful. They are in control of their own destiny for the No. 5 spot right now, but one more win makes that pursuit much more complicated.

4. Charlotte Hornet: The Charlotte Hornets have had an above-average defense since March 1, ranking 14th overall in the NBA in that time. “Above average” might not sound particularly impressive, but remember, this is a team that had nothing to play for in that window. The veterans are missing games left and right. Steve Clifford is already one of the best defensive coaches in the NBA. Mark Williams will soon be among his best defenders.

3. San Antonio Spurs: I’d really rather not honor the lineups San Antonio recently released with a blurb. Think about why I’ve offered to watch Spurs all season long. Keldon Johnson is out now. Jeremy Sochan is absent. Zach Collins is injured. Devin Vassell has played 10 games in the calendar year 2023. I love Sandro Mamukelashvili as much as anyone and even I think 29 minutes is a bit too much.

2. Houston Rockets: The season isn’t even over yet and there have already been rumors about who will replace Stephen Silas as Houston’s head coach. Nick Nurse, who once coached the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, is suddenly a hot candidate for the Rockets. It’s an interesting choice if slightly risky. A coach of his stature surely expects to win quickly, so would the Rockets revise the roster for him? Would he be more open to playing a deeper bench in a younger team? As a championship-winning coach, would he have the stash to convince Houston’s youngsters who dominate the ball to subscribe to a team-first system? It’s a home run, but it’s not like the Rockets are afraid to swing and miss.

1. Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren played 30 minutes for the first time since February 10 on Tuesday. He responded with 20 points and 14 rebounds. The Pistons got too cute with their frontcourt. By all means, give James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley a chance, but Duren is the best young center in the team. Developing it should be their first, second and third priority.

Loss of the week

Every time I think I know what game is going to land in this slot, it’s overwhelmed. Let’s review the last two weeks of basketball played by the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder:

  • Dallas manages to lose a game to the Golden State Warriors in which they win the 3-point, free throw and turnover battles.
  • Dallas loses at home to a Charlotte Hornets team missing most of its best players on the second night in a row. They play again two days later. Charlotte wins again.
  • Oklahoma City takes on Charlotte, gives up 43 points to PJ Washington and loses what is effectively a one-point game by missing four free throws in the final six minutes.
  • Dallas manages to force Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey to shoot a combined 18 of 44 from the field and still find a way to lose.
  • Oklahoma City picks up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for a game against the Indiana Pacers, who are without Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner, and loses by shooting 4 of 30 from 3-point range.
  • Dallas has a chance to tie Atlanta at the free throw line in the dying seconds on Sunday. Christian Wood misses one of his two attempts with 1.4 seconds left, but the ball ricochets out of bounds for Atlanta, miraculously giving Dallas a second chance, and JaVale McGee is fouled on the play of the incoming lob. If he does both, Dallas wins. He misses the first and Dallas loses in overtime. McGee and Wood played the last six minutes of the third quarter, the entire fourth quarter and most of the overtime without rest.
  • The Thunder built a 10-point halftime lead over the Warriors on Tuesday to trail by 21 points in the second half. Mark Daigneault receives a technical foul because the officials somehow forget to allow the Thunder to replace Jalen Williams in the game on a dead ball.

The length of time these teams will miss the playoffs, intentionally or not, is staggering. Every time one of them loses a heartbreaker, the other overtakes them. The math overwhelmingly favors the Thunder to win the No. 10 seed, but in a fair world, the Western Conference playoffs would only allow nine entries.

games of the weak

Thursday April 6: Blazers at Spurs: If you’ve ever wanted to watch a G-League All-Star Game in NBA uniform, this is probably your best bet.

Friday, April 7: Rockets at Hornets: I almost feel guilty listing the Hornets at this point. They have been playing basketball competently for over a month now.

Friday, April 7: Pistons at Pacers: It’s probably the most likely place to break that pesky Pacers-Wizards-Magic tie, so Orlando and Washington will be watching this game closely.

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