For the Atlanta Hawks, this final game of the 2018 season is pivotal in the determination of the 2018 NBA Draft positioning. Coming down the stretch and into the final game of this season, Peachtree Hoops has been doing daily updates to break down Atlanta’s fluctuating lottery position and also the status of the other two first-round selections owed to the Hawks by Minnesota and Houston.
Hawks draft position
The Hawks have finally officially been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2007. So, with no Tragic Number to track anymore, this section of the ping-pong chronicles will be dedicated to the Hawks constantly changing position in the lottery.
As of right now, Atlanta sits tied with Dallas for the third-worst record in the NBA. Tankathon.com gives them a 42.3% chance at securing a top-3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and a 13.7% chance at snagging the number one overall pick.
Atlanta’s chances at the top pick will be up to the lottery at this point as Phoenix has clinched the worst record in the NBA already. The Hawks final game will not be an easy one either with Philadelphia trying to secure a higher Playoff seed.
Minnesota and Houston pick status
Atlanta continues to hold the second-most valuable array of draft selections according to tankathon.com’s composite draft score ratings. Phoenix, the only other team that could control three first-round picks, currently sits ahead of Atlanta’s composite draft score of 141.11 with a score of 152.42.
The Hawks are also keeping a close eye on the Timberwolves and Rockets records since Atlanta owns both Houston’s and Minnesota’s first-round picks if everything falls into place. Minnesota’s pick is protected for selections 1-14 in the Draft which means the team would need to make the Playoffs for the pick to convey. Minnesota now sits as the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoff race leading to some too-close-for-comfort feelings for the Hawks.
The pick would currently convey as the 18th selection in the Draft since the Timberwolves are still in the Playoff picture. Minnesota is going to need to lock in and win their final two games to make sure they make the Playoffs. There are a couple of scenarios for how the Timberwolves could make it in.
Scenario 2: They win either tonight’s game OR Wednesday’s game and get in with a Denver loss to Portland tonight.
Scenario 3: Minnesota wins either tonight’s game OR Wednesdays game and gets in with OKC and New Orleans losing out.
This is all very troubling news, but the good news is that Jimmy Butler is back and that Portland actually has something to play for against the Nuggets today as they are trying to lock down home court advantage.
In better news, the pick owed to the Hawks by the Houston Rockets has now officially conveyed after the Rockets clinched a playoff berth by way of a magical 17-game win streak. The Rockets were able to clinch homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs and therefore lock the Hawks into the 30th pick in the draft.
It is comforting to know that the Hawks will now for sure have at least two first-round picks in the coming 2018 NBA Draft. Minnesota’s pick owed to the Hawks looks more and more likely to convey with each game.
Other teams at the bottom
Atlanta’s own pick positioning will be majorly influenced by the status of those teams that currently surround the Hawks at the bottom of the standings. Here are updates on the teams that are currently behind Atlanta in the league standings.
The Suns lost yet again last night to the Golden State Warriors to lock in their position at the worst record in the NBA. Phoenix owns the best odds to pick number one in the NBA Draft this summer with a 25% chance to win the first pick. The Suns final game is irrelevant to their positioning, but potentially is huge for the Hawks as they play Orlando who sit just half a game ahead of the Hawks.
Memphis blew out the Pistons yesterday in surprising fashion but will lock themselves into the second-worst record overall with a loss to the Timberwolves tonight. The Grizzlies will hold a 55.8% chance at a top three pick and will own a 19.9% chance at number one overall in the Draft Lottery.
The Orlando Magic were warded off by the resting Toronto Raptors yesterday and now fall to just a half-game ahead of the Hawks and Mavericks. Orlando is right back at it tomorrow against the Bucks with a chance to join Atlanta and Dallas at a tie for the third-worst record.
Dallas was unable to pull the upset yesterday over the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers. The loss drops them into a tie with Atlanta for the third-worst record, as mentioned before. The Mavericks play Phoenix on Tuesday with a serious chance to move up to the fourth-worst record with a win.
The aforementioned Kings took the win Friday night in Memphis by a single point. Sacramento sits just slightly behind the Nets for the sixth-worst record overall and will fall to a tie if Brooklyn loses tomorrow. The Kings have gotten a short break before tonight’s game against the Spurs.
The Nets were able to pick up the win Saturday night against the Bulls and now move into a tie with Chicago for the seventh-worst record overall. Brooklyn is back at it tonight against the Bulls in a game that will either move them into a tie for the sixth-worst record or give them sole possession of the seventh-worst record.
Chicago, as mentioned before, took the loss Saturday night to the Brooklyn Nets and continue to nosedive at the end of this season. They are not finished with the Nets as they play them once again tonight.
Today is absolutely enormous for the Hawks hopes of having three first round picks as a Minnesota win and Denver loss would clinch a Playoff spot for the Timberwolves. Say your prayers and as always, stay tuned for tomorrow’s update to the Hawks Ping-Pong Chronicles!