A quick apology before I begin here. After re reading my last post which did take some heat, I decided that some of that criticism of my presentation of the subject was justified. And maybe I could have handled my replies with a little more humor...
The question as to whether this team is better off in or out of the playoffs almost always comes up this time of the year.
They still could move into the fifth seed and play Atlanta in the first round. But then they would end up being fed to Cleveland or Boston ( the 1/8 match up winner).
The other possibilities would be to finish in the 6, 7, or 8 seed spots. The 6 seed gets you a match up against Orlando. They could beat Orlando with Nelson out. It's not real likely, but they could. Then they would face the 2/7 winner and..well we are right back to either Cleveland or Boston again. And if they finished 7 or 8, then they are done in the first round.
The law of probablility tells us we have little chance for one of the first three picks. We would have to get real lucky to get one of the top three. We probably wouldn't have enough ping pong balls
So falling down to somewhere between 9 and 12 puts them out of the playoffs, gives them, maybe a snowball in hell's chance of getting a lottery pick, and after that it will go by regular season record.
Is it that important to make the playoffs for the experience, or would we want to roll the dice a go for a top three pick? Or is finishing out of the playoffs, even without a lottery pick worthwhile? At worst, finishing 9-12 puts you ahead of the playoff teams in the draft. I am not a draftnick. Is anyone out there worthwhile, that we could get should we miss the playoffs and the lottery??
To me, it seems like we are better off making the playoffs, especially if we can play either Orlando or Atlanta. At least with those teams there is a chance of advancing, an experience that would be good for the fans and the team.