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April 09, 2017

Updating the Sixers’ lottery odds with four days left in the NBA season

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The Sixers lost to Milwaukee on Saturday night, and they will finish up what has been an up-and-down 2016-17 season with a couple of games this week against Indiana and New York. As we’ve been doing every day, let’s update the draft lottery odds around the NBA.

Latest results

•    Sixers lose to Milwaukee, 90-82 (good)
•    Orlando loses to Indiana, 127-12 (bad)
•    New Orleans loses to Golden State, 123-101 (bad)
•    New York loses to Toronto, 110-97 (bad, and Markelle Fultz was in the house checking out another potential landing spot)

Brett Brown was asked about the subject of tanking before last night’s game, a subject that he’s obviously had to talk about quite a bit during his time as Sixers head coach.

“I think that we have been pounded by injuries, we all get that,” Brown said. “We are left with whatever I’m left with and ‘Here we go.’ And that’s all I know.”

“Players still play and the coaches still coach. Evidently, Phoenix wasn’t paying attention last night and evidently the Lakers weren’t paying attention either.”

I don’t really feel like getting into organizational vs. active tanking, because those discussions often tend to go in circles. Specifically when it comes to Brown’s team, the Sixers have now lost six games in a row down the stretch. Still, it’s hard to say that they’re tanking on purpose when you simply take one look at their injury report. Right now, Brown doesn’t have enough talent to win. Last night against Milwaukee and last week against Atlanta were examples of the Sixers executing well enough to compete but simply not making enough shots.

But of course in Philadelphia, home of The Process, tanking is a talking point even if it’s not really applicable to the Sixers. The NBA’s incentive system is definitely a bit off, but those are unfortunately the rules. And with the Sixers looking at potentially taking a step forward in 2017-18, it makes sense for them to play the draft lottery hard one last time.

Hopefully this is the last time I have to write this, but the Sixers losing down the stretch is for the best.

Tonight’s important games

•    Dallas at Phoenix
•    Sacramento vs. Houston
•    Lakers vs. Minnesota

Big night ahead. From the Sixers’ point of view, Suns-Mavs and Lakers-Wolves have implications on both the Lakers pick and the Kings pick swap.

One Tankathon Spin

This has been a useful exercise mostly because we are seeing all of the different scenarios play out. The Lakers avoid disaster here, but the Sixers jump up to 2 while the Celtics’ historically tough lottery luck continues.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann