After two weeks, every team has played between five and seven games, and the cement on the standings is already beginning to dry. There are a few surprises; Miami is 2-4, and Orlando is 4-2, but by and large, to quote Dennis Green, “They are who we thought they were.”
This early in the season, the primary focus on a team’s record is on their potential playoff chances and seeding. While every “W” boosts your playoff odds and the fanbase’s dopamine levels, it does reduce the ever-coveted NBA Draft Lottery odds.
How the NBA Draft Lottery works
For 90 percent of the league, October, November, and December are all about racking up wins, but building up a large base of losses early in the season can be the difference between the first overall pick and the tenth. The NBA’s draft lottery odds give the three worst teams by record equal odds at the number one overall pick, and every non-playoff team has a shot at the first overall pick with descending odds based on record.
The four teams at the bottom of the lottery and the current eighth and seventh seeds in the Eastern and Western Conference will participate in the NBA play-in tournament to qualify for the playoffs. The four teams, regardless of regular season record, to make the playoffs through the play-in will move out of the lottery, and the four losers will end up in it. The bottom four teams in lottery odds are based on regular season records and could change based on play-in performance. If the season ended today, these are the odds for the 14 teams currently in the lottery.