You can feel the nervousness in the air. The Cavaliers have won a few games, and now are only a 1/2 game behind(?) Minnesota for the worst record in the NBA.
Of course, the team with the worst record in the league gets the most chances to get the first pick in the draft, based on the NBA’s lottery system.
Having the most chances means little in terms actually getting the first pick, as history has shown us that more often than not, the team with the worst record doesn’t get the top pick.
The last team to have the worst record and get the first selection was Orlando in 2004.
So, having the worst record in the league guarantees you nothing in terms of getting the first pick. In fact, that team only has a 25% chance of getting the #1 pick anyway.
The second and third worst record have each won the lottery for the first overall pick more times than the team with the worst record.
What if the Cavaliers finish with the worst record and don’t get the first selection? Will the people hoping they lose wish they would have won instead?
Another thing to factor in is that you are telling professional athletes to lose. That’s totally against their make up. These guys play to win. They don’t want to be embarrassed by the opposition.
J.J. Hickson told reporters that he is looking forward to the season finale against the Wizards because of the way he played against Andray Blatche in the last game between the two teams.
Blatche had 16 offensive rebounds that night.
It’s actually a tribute to Byron Scott and the players wearing the wine and gold that even with a 17-61 record, they are playing hard. It bodes well for the future of the team. It shows character, which is an important part of winning.
Besides, it’s not as though winning the draft lottery is the magic pill that elevates a team to a title. Ask Toronto how getting the first pick helped them? Or Milwaukee?
Or the Cavaliers for that matter. How many championships did the franchise win with LeBron James? How many has Orlando won with Dwight Howard? The answer is quite simple…zero.
You have to remember that this team suffered the indignity of losing 26 consecutive games earlier this season. And now you want them to lose games on purpose? These guys are tired of losing, and that includes the coaching staff.
That’s why it is very difficult for Scott to play younger guys when he has a chance to win games. Players like Manny Harris and Christian Eyenga received a lot of minutes during the losing streak. They got experience then, and it wasn’t pretty.
So, you can’t use the excuse that the Cavs should be using young players. With Antawn Jamison out with an injury, it’s not like the guys who are playing now will not be on the team next season.
If they aren’t, it’s because they’ve shown they are not good enough, Scott isn’t giving anytime to guys who are leaving for free agency over the summer.
If the Cavs wind up with the worst record in the league and get the first overall pick, that’s great. They could have the worst record and not get that choice.
Getting that pick would be nice, but it’s not worth having players and coaches not try to win. After a 26 game losing streak, you can’t blame them for enjoying victories.