After three straight wins on the road, the Wolves lost to the Rockets last night at home in a blowout. The loss locks the Wolves into the 5th worst record in the league regardless of what happens in their final game on Wednesday against the Pelicans. It also means they will fall short of the 30 win benchmark that many were hoping for at the start of the season.
Having the fifth worst record assigns them the following odds for getting each draft position, to be determined by the lottery which takes place on May 17th:
On the other side, the Rockets win along with the Mavs win over Utah cements a playoff spot for the Mavericks, who, after looking all but finished a couple of weeks ago at 35-38 and free falling now still have an outside shot at the 5th (!) seed. It also means that the Rockets get the 8th seed with a win over the Kings in their final game (at home), while Utah has to beat the Lakers and hope for a Rockets loss. Disappointing for the Jazz (assuming they don't make it), but their recent loss to a Clippers team that was resting everyone will stand out as the killer.
Meanwhile, the top four seeds in the West are (and have been) set for a while, with the Warriors, Spurs, Thunder and Clippers occupying those spots. Fifth-seventh remain up in the air between the Blazers, Grizzlies, and Mavericks.
In the East, the top two seeds (Cavaliers, Raptors) are set, the Pacers and Pistons will be 7th and 8th in some order, and four teams (Hawks, Heat, Hornets, Celtics) are in a scrum for the middle four spots. They all have either 33 or 34 losses, with the Hawks looking the best bet to secure the third spot, but it's all still up in the air until the regular season concludes on Wednesday.
The playoffs start on Saturday; we'll have playoff threads throughout the two months. It should be fun.
Today in history
1204: 4th Crusade occupies (and ransacks) Constantinople
1770: Townshend Acts repealed by Parliament
1776: Halifax resolution for independence adopted by North Carolina
1811: First U.S. colonists arrive on Pacific coast at wonderfully named Cape Disappointment in current Washington State.
1844: Treaty of Annexation between Texas and U.S. signed
1857: Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" published
1861: Confederates shell Fort Sumter, marking start of Civil War
1877: British annex Transvaal in South Africa
1900: U.S. Congress approves legislation establishing Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory
1927: Chiang Kai-Shek begins counter-revolution in Shanghai
1934: U.S. Auto-Lite strike begins leading to violence between strikers and national guard
1945: Franklin Roosevelt dies in office, Harry Truman sworn in as president
1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes first human to orbit earth
1981: First launch of the space shuttle
1988: Harvard patents first genetically engineered mouse
Today's musical birthday is Will Sergeant, best known as guitarist for Echo and the Bunnymen, born in 1958.
Have a great Tuesday. Season finale tomorrow.