Welcome to your Daily NBA Fix for Saturday, March 1, the morning after the Los Angeles Lakers won for just the 11th time since Dec. 1.
Yes, with their 126-122 win over the Sacramento Kings Friday night, the Lakers improved to 11-31 since Dec. 1 and completed a 4-8 February.
It’s been a potentially memorable season—for all the wrong reasons—for three of the NBA’s bellwether franchises, the Lakers, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.
The Knicks were on the wrong end of Stephen Curry’s third triple-double of the season Friday night as they were clubbed at home by the Golden State Warriors. The completed a dismal 2-11 February for New York, undoing any progress the club had made while winning 10 of 16 in January.
The Celtics were idle and finished February with a 5-6 mark, a major improvement from a disastrous 2-15 January which dropped Boston out of playoff contention.
Ah, yes … the playoffs.
Hollinger’s playoff odds—a projection based on playing out the remainder of the season 5,000 to determine probability of outcomes—tell a sobering tale for the Celtics, Knicks and Lakers.
The Knicks, at 21-38, have a 6.3 percent chance of making the postseason based on Hollinger’s projections, with the added bonus of potentially qualifying for a lottery pick that would go to Denver.
The Celtics, 20-39, are projected to be clinging to a 1.1 percent chance of making the playoffs.
The Lakers, with the same 20-39 record as Boston, are dead last in the rugged Western Conference and have a 0.0 percent chance of making the postseason. Considering L.A. trails eighth-place Phoenix by 14 ½ games with just 23 games left, the math is not kind.
So how rare would be for Boston, New York and the Lakers to be spectators when the playoffs open in April?
Since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960, there has never been a season in which none of these three franchises were in the playoffs.
So, yeah, that’s fairly historic.
It was a night basically devoid of drama Friday night—none of the seven games on the slate was decided by three points or less.
But the Daily NBA Fix will still deliver highlights, game capsules, the top and bottom five players, the dreaded Goose Egg, Clean and Sober and Ironman awards, we’ll recap who’s circling the drain, there will be some interesting pieces of relevant (and not-so-relevant) information and we’ll look at today’s daily lines for those people who like to wager a buck or two.
Check out the highlights below from the night that was, then get into the game capsules (home teams in CAPS).