The 2009-2010 Philadelphia 76ers are capable of beating anyone in the league with Eddie Jordan's system. That's not a lie. They can beat anyone when all of their scrubs get hot at the same time and shoot an ungodly percentage on long jumpers. It happens once in a blue moon. Unfortunately tonight, when they desperately needed a loss, it happened.
When this game happened earlier in the season, Eddie Jordan would have a pat-myself-on-the-back, brace-licking grin on his face for days and I'd fume. These games are vindication for his stupid system, and they're complete outliers. The formula is simple:
- Shoot an ungodly percent from the floor (57%)
- Hit about twice as many threes as you should have (14/26)
If you can do those two things, it doesn't matter if you play any defense. That's Eddie Jordan's entire philosophy and I hope it goes over well at Rutgers next season.
To be fair, the Sixers really turned the game around with their starters in the third quarter, from that point it was just a matter of the scrubs trading hoops the rest of the way until the Grizzlies threw in the towel.
Lottery Update Detroit, Washington, Sacramento and Golden State all got the memo and lost their games tonight. The Clippers, however, were playing the Warriors, so they held on for a W, barely. That loss allowed the Sixers to finish the night all alone with the 7th-worst record, but both the Knicks (Utah owns the pick) and the Clippers stand one game back in the win column.
You can pretty much forget about the 3rd-worst record at this point. That ship has sailed, even if not mathematically yet. 4th and 5th are remote possibilities, but highly, highly unlikely. A tie for sixth is a possibility, if Detroit can win one more, but probably not likely. If the Sixers win another game I think it's most likely they'll finish tied for either 7th or 8th-worst. If they can lose their two remaining games, the worst they can finish is 7th-worst, all alone.
Let's break this down mathematically.
- If the Sixers win both remaining games, their odds at getting a top-three pick will probably be 6.1%, possibly 8.05%
- If they finish 1-1, their odds at getting a top-three pick will be somewhere between 8.05% and 15%, but most likely 10%
- If they lose both remaining games, they will have no lower than a 15% chance at a top-three pick, with the best possible outcome being a 33.8%, but realistically I'd say 18.25% is the best they could hope for.
Tonight's game could've easily cost them 20%, or more, but there's more damage to be done.
Until the lottery happens, we won't know what, if any, affect this win had on the outcome, so I don't want to over-reacted. We're talking about probabilities here, so we're hoping for the best odds that the Sixers will wind up with a lucky bounce. Winning this game, or either of the final two doesn't mean they won't get a top-three pick, it just stacks the odds against it and also makes the worst-possibly outcome of the lottery that much worse as well. I'm feeling pretty bad about this win right now, but 15% is better than nothing and all will be forgiven if that bet hits. Of course, if the lottery plays out true to form, or maybe if a team the Sixers could/should have passed winds up winning the lottery, well, I'm going to be looking back at this game as the killer.