Hats off to the Pistons for competing and coming back to beat a putrid Timberwolves team. Down by as many as 16, the Pistons mounted a very bittersweet 2nd half comeback, outscoring the T-Wolves 35-19 in the final frame to win 103-98.
The very bitter, orange juice after brushing your teeth x100, taste of the result comes from the lost lottery combinations. If the Pistons kept up their three quarter pace, they would have either tied for the
4th 5th worst record with the Wizards (75-76 combos, depending on which team wins the tiebreaker) or finished in a three-way tie for the 4th worst record with the Wiz and Warriors (90 combos), depending on the outcome of the late Warriors game (which is now moot).
Instead, the Pistons are tied with the 76ers for the 6th worst record, so you take the combinations alloted for the 6th and 7th worst record (63 and 43, respectively), add them together, and divide by two. That leaves each team with 53 ping pong balls out of 1,000 -- exactly a 5.3% chance at the No. 1 overall pick and an 18.25% chance at a Top 3 pick.
The sky is certainly not falling, though. As one astute Pistons fan pointed out tonight, the Blazers & T-Wolves were in the same situation that the Pistons find themselves in now in 2007. If you recall, the Blazers won the lottery. Let's just hope the balls fall in our favor and the Pistons are the 2007 Blazers (without the missed pick).