The Hawks threw a wrench at us by reeling off five wins in six games, but that came to a screeching halt once Kent Bazemore went down with an ankle injury. Per Chris Vivlamore of the AJC, Bazemore will miss at least another week before being re-evaluated.
Atlanta followed his injury with three consecutive blowout losses away from home prior to returning home to beat the Heat by 24. That win put the Hawks at 12-27 on the season, good for the fifth worst record in the NBA. With the new lottery odds taking place next year, that still gives the Hawks a 10.5% chance at landing the #1 overall pick and 42.1% chance at being in the top four. In comparison, Cleveland, currently the NBA’s worst team has a 14.0% chance at getting the #1 overall pick and a 52.1% chance at landing in the top four. The Hawks are 4.5 games back of Cleveland for the worst record in the NBA.
The best news is that Dallas – as expected – has begun to fall out of playoff contention in the West. There is still an off chance they make the postseason, especially with the way Luka Doncic is playing, but the Western Conference is going to be a dogfight for that final playoff spot, and I don’t see Dallas with enough talent to get there at this point. They now have an 18-21 record, which is tied for the tenth worst record in the league, giving them a 2.5% chance of selecting #1 overall and an 11.7% chance of being in the top four.
But remember, the Mavs pick is top-five protected, which is pretty unfortunate given the way Luka Doncic has performed. Hopefully, that pick lands somewhere in the 6-10 range.
The Hawks also have the Cavs first-round pick top-ten protected, but that seems like nothing more than a pipe dream with the way they are playing. Atlanta will have one more opportunity to cash in on that first-round pick in 2020 (top-ten protected) or else it will turn into two unprotected second-round picks in 2021 and 2022.