Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
If the regular season ended today, the Celtics and Magic would split the probability between the third and fourth positions, leaving each team a roughly 42.5 percent chance at a top 3 pick (and a 13.7 percent chance at the top overall selection). If there’s separation between the two teams before the end of the season, the difference between the two spots is noticeable. A sole third-place finish ups the chances of a top 3 pick to 46.9 percent and of the No. 1 pick to 15.6 percent (while the fourth-place finisher falls to 37.8 percent for top 3 and 11.9 percent for No. 1).
Just keep in mind that, unlike playoff position, lottery ties see teams split the available number of ping-pong ball combinations (with any odd-number leftovers determined via coin flip, leaving slight differences in the two teams’ probabilities).
What’s more, the Celtics are set to receive Brooklyn’s first-round pick, which is just about locked into the 17th spot at this point after Wednesday’s loss.
And a look at the remaining schedules for Boston, Orlando, and Utah:
- BOSTON: CHA, @CLE, @PHI, WAS
- ORLANDO: WAS, @BKN, @CHI, IND
- UTAH: POR, @DEN, LAL, @MIN
Milwaukee and Philadelphia are getting all the attention for their respective tank jobs this season, but let’s not underestimate the Celtics.
The C’s were 12-14 and in 1st place in the Atlantic division back on December 16. They’ve gone 11-41 since.
Note some of these streaks:
- Over the last 15, they are 1-14
- From Dec 16 through Jan 29, they went 3-19
And don’t get discouraged by Orlando’s softer schedule down the stretch, because as Chris Forsberg points out in his article, playoff teams without anything to gain are likely to rest their key players.
On Page 2, Danny Ainge says Paul Pierce and KG struggled just like Jeff Green.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined Mike Gorman, and former Celtic guard Chris Herren, as analysts on CSNNE’s telecast of the C’s game at Atlanta on Wednesday night.
One of the players Ainge talked about is the much-talked-about Jeff Green, who Ainge said “can’t be the No. 1 guy on a championship team, but he can be an important piece on a championship team.
“We’ve tried to expand Jeff’s game, have him take shots with more efficiency, shoot more 3s off the dribble, which aren’t as high percentage as he’s used to,” Ainge said “So, his percentages have gone down a little bit, but we like that he’s taking those shots.
“People forget that KG, Paul [Pierce] and [Ray] Allen all strugged when they were on non-playoff teams before they got to Boston,” Ainge said in comparing them to Green. “Even though they had good numbers here and there, they didn’t have consistently good numbers until they got back together. Jeff needs help.”
Danny Ainge didn’t pull any punches last night as color commentator. He routinely blasted the Celtics, collectively and individually, during last night’s loss to Atlanta.
I’m not buying these comments about Jeff Green. We are constantly making excuses for this guy.
When Green was playing with PP and KG, the excuse was that he was deferring too much. That Green would thrive without any restraints.
Not Danny is saying he needs help?
The rest of the links:
Globe – Celtics squander late lead | Rondo feeling fine in return to Atlanta | ESPN Boston – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… | Rapid Reaction | Herald – Dominique Wilkins backs Ainge’s plan| Flat Celtics fall to Hawks | CSNNE – Rondo: I have to lead by example more | Celtics falter late again |