Archive for April 5th, 2012

Raptors at Sixers Points Per Game and a look at tanking and lottery odds since 1994

- April 5th, 2012

And, we’re back after a Points Per Game break for the Final Four.

“Tank Nation” is freaking out because the Raptors are winning games – three in a row for the first time in several seasons – and while I understand they want the best lottery odds possible, it is also important for the core players who likely will remain (like DeMar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani and James Johnson) to experience some success and to see that they can win games if they play the way Dwane Casey wants them to. The Raptors badly need a culture chang and ranking near the top in some defensive categories and surpassing last season’s win total is also important.

Plus, as we’ve seen many times, the NBA lottery is the one where finish matters the least. This isn’t the NHL, where teams almost never move around from the set order. We’ve seen Cleveland move up from No. 8 odds last year to get Kyrie Irving, Chicago moved from ninth to get Derrick Rose, Washington moved up from fifth to get John Wall, Portland and Toronto got Oden and Bargnani from fifth and sixth, Houston got Yao from fifth, Jersey got K-Mart from seventh.

Yes, the odds would increase with more losses, but it’s pretty much been a crapshoot since 1994, when they changed the way the lottery was done. (Since 1994)

Worst team – Two wins (granted the wins were LeBron James and Dwight Howard!)

Second-worst – Three wins

Third-worst – Four wins

Fourth-worst – Zero wins

Fifth – Four wins

Sixth – One win

Seventh – One win

Eighth – Zero wins

Ninth – One win (Derrick Rose)

What does that tell us? That anything can happen. That fourth-worst has been an awful spot to be in but fifth-worst has been very lucky. Like with stocks, in probability, past performance is not an indication of future returns, the odds still say the bottom three teams have the best chance of getting Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I’m just saying, don’t freak out, we’ve seen other tams win the lottery enough times to say this winning streak isn’t the end of the world.

- As for the Sixers game, I was there early in the year when Philly demolished the Raptors – by 30 I believe – I think it shows some pride and some heart going back in there and easily handling Philly.

- Nice to see DeRozan distributing the ball (five assists) since passing has been one of the biggest weaknesses in his game since entering the league.

- Bargnani is starting to find his outside touch again. He’s 10-for-24 from downtown over his past five games after a 2-for-19 slump. Interestingly though, at 30% for the season, he’s never shot it worst overall from deep.

- Hard not to be impressed by Alan Anderson. Attention 10-dayers, this is how you do it.

- Has there been one game this year where both Amir Johnson and Ed Davis play well?

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