Thanks to a surprising Suns win against triple-double-hunting Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, the Brooklyn Nets have secured the highest slot in the lottery and of course, the Celtics have the right to swap picks. If you’re reading this blog, you’re well aware of Danny Ainge’s 2013 heist, so we’ll spare you the details. The Celtics now have a 25% chance at #1 pick, and are guaranteed not to drop below #4 overall. They have a great shot to land Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, or possibly a superstar via trade.
It was a little nerve-wracking towards the end though. Brooklyn gave the Celtics quite a scare by going 10-11 over the last month. They went from looking like an awful team with no future, to a mediocre team with no future. Luckily, the Suns stopped their own free fall, and the early parade of Nets losses proved enough to give them the crown.
We can’t forget Los Angeles either. The Lakers deserve a special shoutout for their valiant stand against tanking. For a brief spell they were running the West Coast Process, until they rattled off three straight wins. Instead of challenging for the worst record in the NBA, they now risk losing their pick to the Sixers. It’ll be fun to watch them sweat, at least until the NBA rigs the lottery to save their pick.
The other huge benefit of this is Celtics fans don’t have to pay attention to the Nets anymore. We’re done checking box scores or novelty twitter accounts. No more cursing Brook Lopez’s quietly good season. Now that energy can be channeled into cursing Al Horford’s quietly good season. Celtics fans can finally concentrate on their 50-win team and the upcoming playoffs.