Welcome back to the ping-pong chronicles...(drum roll)...season two! In case this is your first time reading, we at Peachtree Hoops understand that there is a large portion of the Hawks fan base focused on Atlanta’s future assets (i.e. the NBA Draft, picks owed to the Hawks by other teams, etc.). So, in the waning days of the 2019 NBA Season, we will be keeping a close eye on Atlanta’s fluctuating lottery position and also the status of the other two first-round selections owed to the Hawks by Cleveland and Dallas.
Hawks draft position
The Hawks have not yet officially been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, but it is merely a formality at this point. The Hawks ‘Tragic Number’ now stands at 5 after winning against New Orleans on Sunday. Atlanta has already been eliminated from clinching the top five seeds in the Eastern Conference and are two losses away from being eliminated from the sixth seed.
As of right now, Atlanta continues to sit firmly entrenched with the fifth-worst record in the NBA. Tankathon.com gives them a 42.1 percent chance at securing a top-4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a 10.5% chance at snagging the number one overall pick. Atlanta’s chances at a top pick will be up to the play of Phoenix, New York, Cleveland and Chicago, who currently sit in front of them in the Draft Lottery rankings. The Hawks are within their final 15 games, but March’s late schedule looks absolutely terrifying.
Hawks upcoming schedule
Atlanta’s next few matchups will be their best chance at winning games for the remainder of this month. The Hawks will face a non-playoff team next in the Grizzlies this week, but after that game, it is full throttle for the remainder of March. Atlanta will face six current playoff teams in their final eight games of the month, which could aid their movement up in the lottery rankings. The Hawks’ saving grace may be that five of those games are at State Farm Arena.
The Hawks realistically have nothing to play for the rest of the way, but expect Lloyd Pierce to have his team trying hard to win games. Because, as we all should know by now, coaches and players don’t tank. The Hawks took the big win against New Orleans on Sunday night as they faced the Pelicans, who have all but given up on the Western Conference playoff race.
Dallas pick status
Atlanta holds the most valuable current array of draft selections according to tankathon.com’s composite draft score ratings. Atlanta’s current composite draft score of 174.65 sits more than 68 points(!) ahead of the next closest team (Phoenix). A part of Atlanta’s high score are their three valuable second-round picks: their own, Charlotte’s, and the worse of choices from either the Minnesota Timberwolves or Los Angeles Lakers. Those picks are projected to be No. 35, No. 40, and No. 44, at least at the time of this post.
The Hawks are also keeping a close eye on the Mavericks’ record since Atlanta owns Dallas’ first-round pick if everything falls into place. The pick from Dallas is protected for selections 1-5 in the Draft, which means the Mavs would need to get lucky in the lottery by hitting on a top-four pick for the pick to not convey. Dallas now sits as the second-worst team in the Western Conference Playoff race, leading to some way too-close-for-comfort feelings for the Hawks.
The pick would currently convey as the No. 6 selection in the Draft (at least until the lottery), but it’s far from certain that the pick will convey. After the Hawks win against the Pelicans, they now sit just four games back in the win column from Dallas. The Mavericks’ tragic number is now down to 6 after they were beaten by one point in Sunday’s match-up against the Rockets.
This selection may end up being close to not conveying, but the Hawks will be more than ecstatic if they manage to gain another top-10 pick in the upcoming draft. If the season were to end today, the Hawks would have a 62.8 percent chance of obtaining the pick from Dallas, with the remaining 37.2 percent divided up between the top four, each of which would remain with the Mavericks if ‘Lady Luck’ is with them on lottery night.
Make sure to keep your eyes on the scoreboards (and cheer for the Mavericks) coming down the final stretch of this long 2019 schedule. The Hawks have the possibility of being set up very nicely in the 2019 Draft if everything were to go their way, which is really good news for a fan base already witnessing the young team making huge strides towards winning consistently.
Stay tuned for the next episode of the ping-pong chronicles.