Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers probably didn’t need another reason to dislike head coach Mike D’Antoni, but he certainly gave them one.
On Monday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz in a tank-a-thon game, the Lakers win securing the Jazz as the worst team in the NBA’s Western Conference. But had the Lakers lost, given the fact that the Jazz would have won the season series against Los Angeles, the Lakers would have been in position to be the worst team in the Western Conference.
So what’s the reasoning behind all this? Ping pong balls. Had the Lakers fallen below the Utah Jazz in the standings, they’d have been given a better mathematical chance in the NBA Draft Lottery. Now granted, we know that doesn’t always play into favor but D’Antoni wasn’t even aware a loss would have given the Lakers better odds.
D’Antoni believed the Lakers winning didn’t affect the lottery, talking in circles about the Jazz and Lakers having the same number of lottery balls anyway. D’Antoni even asked us reporters after a follow-up question if we were sure about the lottery when the victory ensured the Lakers will have the sixth-most lottery balls May 20 unless the Boston Celtics manage a victory against a Washington Wizards team Wednesday night that will really want to win and ensure they don’t face the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in the first round.