NBA Notebook: Forecasting where the Lakers pick will fall in the lottery race

Mark J Reblias/USA Today Sports

The Celtics’ front office has a lot to feel good about as the calendar year turns to 2018. The C’s currently have the second best record in the NBA after recent slides by the Rockets and Cavs while the Lakers stand in the ideal position (third-worst record in the NBA) at the moment for the Celtics to land a draft pick from them in the 2-5 range for the 2018 NBA Draft. The Lakers finishing with the third-worst record at the end of the year would give Boston an 80 percent chance of landing one of those four protected picks, a huge boon for them since the 2018 draft class is living up to the hype so far during this college season.

With that said, there is still quite the logjam in the cellar of the NBA standings. As we approach the halfway mark of the year, ten teams are all within 3.5 games of each other in the bottom third of the league.

[caption id="attachment_384097" align="alignnone" width="726"] Standings via Tankathon.com[/caption]

What teams should Celtics fans be watching closely in the second half to see if they slip past the Lakers towards the bottom, potentially damaging the C’s odds of landing a 2-5 pick? Let’s handicap the lottery race for the remainder of the season.