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Racing for the Bottom

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Over at NBA Fanhouse, I did a couple posts on all these teams lumped together at around 44-46 losses. One of these teams is going to end up with the 5th worst record in the league and 8.8% chance to land #1, and one of these teams is going to end up with the 12th worst record and a 0.7% chance.

Needless to say, with the playoffs out of reach, that higher probability of Oden is nice to think about. Here's what I said about the Kings' chances:

Sacramento: 30-44, 8 games left (5 home, 3 road)
Remaining opponents' winning percentage: .526
Record since March 1: 5-12
Extenuating circumstances: All stars healthy, Eric Musselman fighting for his job.
Prediction: 32-50, with a win against Utah, Houston or Memphis and a victorious season finale against the Lakers.

Two more wins for the Kings, I think. It could be three, even four... or it could be zero. Sacramento does not play well in Memphis, and obviously these Jazz and Rockets are playing for home-court. And if the Lakers need to win to stay out of 'death by 8th seed' territory, Kobe will make them win. (Remember 2004, when he single-handedly destroyed Portland in the last game of the season to win the Pacific over Sacramento and land the automatic 2-seed? Yeah.)

Winning two more should put the Kings in 5th worst contention, but probably in the 6-8 range (where they sit now). That's still not shabby, though. The 8th worst team has 2.8% chance for the top pick.

The best hope for Sacramento fans not wanting to wish ill on our own team, especially when that Lakers game comes up? Start rooting for Portland, Seattle, Minnesota, Philadelphia, New York, Indiana, and Charlotte.