Early Projections...(Just for Fun)

After Boston plays tonight in Charlotte, they will have completed one fifth of their scheduled games. Next week, after the game at home against Denver on December 6th, one fourth of their games will be in the book. At their current winning percentage, they will end with 27.3 wins. The line before the season started was 27.5 so they are apparently right on track to meet expectations.

We know that a lot will change between now and May. Injuries will heal, others will linger, and still others will crop up. There will be trades and some teams will go into slumps while others will get hot. But for this post, let's assume that the win percentages throughout the league hold true for the season. The results would be at the least, interesting.

Utah would end with 5.5 wins. It doesn't matter if you round it up or down, it would still by far be the worst record ever. The highest salaried team, the Nets, would have the third worst record this season. The second highest, the Knicks, would have the fourth worst.

The playoff teams in the West would be in order from 1 - 8: San Antonio, Portland, OKC, LA Clippers, Houston, Dallas, Golden State, and Memphis. Phoenix, who everyone thought was tanking big time, would just miss the playoffs with 44 wins.

In the East, 1 - 8: Indiana, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Toronto, Philadelphia (those tankers!), and the eighth seed would be determined by the tiebreaker between Detroit, Orlando (another tanker?) and Washington. Whichever team that turns out to be would get into the playoffs with only 32 wins.

The draft order, before the ping-pong balls would be Utah, Milwaukee, Atlanta (via swap), Denver (via swap), Cleveland, Sacramento, and Boston at #7. Then it gets messy. Depending on who "wins" the tiebreaker, two of the Detroit, Orlando, Washington group would be 8 & 9. Numbers 10 - 14 would go to LA Lakers, Philadelphia (via NOP), Orlando (via Denver) Minnesota, and Phoenix.

Regardless of what happens record wise, we know that Brooklyn, New York, and Golden State will not have a first round pick. Because of "too many" wins, Indiana, Portland, Dallas, Minnesota, and New Orleans would also have no pick since it would go somewhere else. Charlotte and Philadelphia would not have their "own" pick although each would have at least one from someone else. And depending on that tiebreaker, both Detroit and Washington could join those with no first round pick at all. A full third of the league could miss out on what is supposed to be the best draft in years.

Because of the Joe Johnson trade, Atlanta could be the #3 seed in the East and still possibly get the top pick in the draft.

As was said near the beginning, none of this is written in stone and will likely change, at least some. But one final thought. If it did project out as things now stand, Boston's second first rounder would be around #21, the same place where we got Sullinger.

No matter how the season actually shakes out, here's hoping you enjoy the ride.

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