Sixers Game vs Miami Has Major Implications for Future of Franchise
97.3 ESPN Sixers insider Derek Bodner joined me on the Sports Bash today to discuss the different scenarios on how the Sixers could get the Heat pick.
The two teams face off tomorrow night at the Wells Fargo Center, 8pm on 97.3 ESPN.
Derek joined me on the Sports Bash to discuss:
He also mapped it out on his website
Miami is now locked into finishing 10th, 11th, or 15th as Miami cannot move up to 9th (Charlotte), and they can only catch Brooklyn (1 game left) or Indy (2 games left), so those are now the 3 teams (Miami, Indy, Brooklyn) that Sixers fans need to focus on.
(The reason Miami cannot finish 12th, 13th, or 14th, but can finish 15th, is because, while Miami can make the playoffs, they are guaranteed to have a worse record than Utah, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City/New Orleans. Lottery teams always have better draft picks than playoff teams, even if they have a better record).
Indy has 2 games left (Washington and at Memphis). In order for Miami to catch them, Miami has to beat the Sixers on Wednesday and Indy has to lose both of their remaining games. Indy is playing two relatively tough teams, but Washington has nothing to play for, and Indy has won 5 in a row, so the odds don’t look very good.
Brooklyn has been struggling a bit of late, having lost 2 in a row, including a game against Chicago at home that wasn’t very competitive. But the Nets finish off their season with the lowly Magic and still have a chance at the playoffs, so this again looks like a long shot.
If Miami ties either of these two teams, the two teams will split lottery balls (9 balls each, with the winner of a coin flip getting a 10th ball). Assuming neither team moves up into the top 3, a coin flip will determine who drafts 10th and who drafts 11th. The coin flips usually happen a few days after the regular season ends.
One of these 3 teams will make the playoffs in the horrible Eastern Conference. Since Miami cannot pass any of these teams outright, the only chance Miami has of making the playoffs is in a 3-way tie. The first tiebreaker when multiple teams are tied is “better winning percentage in all games among tied teams”. Miami would win that tiebreaker, as they are 5-3 against Indy and Brooklyn (1-3 vs Indy, 4-0 vs Brooklyn). Indy is 4-3 (3-1 vs Miami, 1-2 vs Brooklyn) and Brooklyn is 2-5 (0-4 vs Miami, 2-1 vs Indy). Indy would have the playoff tiebreaker over Miami if only those two teams were tied, but that is a scenario that cannot happen.
If Indiana wins tonight, then Miami is eliminated from the playoffs, which would have huge ramifications on Wednesday’s Sixers vs Heat game. Indy can win and Miami can still catch Brooklyn (Miami win vs Sixers, Brooklyn loss vs Orlando), but Miami’s motivation to play hard on Wednesday takes a big hit if they’re eliminated tonight.
If the Sixers do not get the pick this season, it will be top-10 protected again next year before becoming fully unprotected in 2017.