Bob Kravitz penned (pecked?) the perfect common sense counter to my post from yesterday. He gives the Pacers their just due for the effort that has kept them in the playoff race, but argues that missing the playoffs for a slim chance at winning the draft lottery is worth it at this point.
Derrick Rose is worth the gamble, but that would take a big stroke of lottery luck (or a weighted ping pong ball. Commish?). With this draft, the difference in talent between 10 thru 16 certainly isn’t worth dumping games. If the Pacers finish strong and actually make the playoffs, everyone in that locker room deserves the playoff reward for their effort.
Besides, the Pacers have plenty of work to do to secure the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In fact, it requires an incredible finish and some serious help. So what needs to happen for the Pacers to earn that spot? Essentially, they have to beat out the Atlanta Hawks for the final spot. The Nets have a tougher schedule and, although the better of the three teams, can't seem to win enough lately.
Here's a projection for how the wins and losses need to stack up for the final games of the season for the Pacers to snag the final playoff spot. The situation will change daily over the next three weeks, so I'll keep updating this table with the actual results.
Projected W/Ls as of March 30.
|@ Boston||L||@ Memphis||W||@ Detroit||L|
|Atlanta||W||@ Philly||L||@ Toronto||L|
|@ Philly||L||@ Indiana||L||@ Milwaukee||W|
|Charlotte||W||@ New York||W||Charlotte||W|
|@ Washington||L||Boston||L||@ Boston||L|