Heat vs. Sixers NBA Picks: Loser Wins as Draft Lottery Positioning on the Line Tonight

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6:16 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2015 6:16 PM UTC

When the Miami Heat face the Philadelphia 76ers, winning is in neither’s best interest. Is there an angle to exploit in our NBA picks that will allow us to cash in on one of the oddest situations caused by the NBA draft lottery?

Bad to the Bone
What do you call a Philadelphia 76’er with a championship ring? A senior citizen.

What’s the difference between the Miami heat and a dollar bill? You can still get four quarters out of a buck.

I’ve got a million of ‘em but I think you get the drift. These are two lousy basketball teams searching desperately for some young talent that will infuse vigor and passion into these moribund franchises and get them back on track for postseason glory. While that is the plan, the reality is that the closer a team gets to the number one pick in the draft the better the chance they will have of drafting that next superstar capable of winning games and putting fannies into those high priced seats.

It’s taken exactly one post-LeBron season for the Miami Heat to have plummeted from perennial title contenders to draft lottery participants. The Philadelphia 76’ers however are incapable of plummeting. You can’t fall from the basement floor no matter how hard you try and a victory tonight would draw them dead even with their 19-63 record from last season. It would also do wonders for their draft lottery prospects but we will discuss that rather complicated scenario below.


It’s Complicated
Much like my daughter’s relationship status on her Facebook page…it’s complicated. Both teams would be far better off if they were to lose their last game of the season tonight. A loss for either team is what the executive brass of both teams will be pining for and here’s why.

Way back in 2010 Miami originally traded its 2015 first-round pick to Cleveland as part of the LeBron James swap. The Cavs parted with that pick in the offseason as part of a three-way deal involving Minnesota and Philadelphia that procured to Cleveland the services of Kevin Love. The 76’ers wound up with the 2015 first-round pick that five years ago belonged to Miami. But here’s the intriguing rub to this whole deal. That pick is protected by Miami as long as it is in the top ten. As of this writing the Heat have the 10th worst record in the league and if they lose to Philly tonight they will have a better than ninety-percent chance of retaining that pick.

As of right now the Sixers have the third worst record in the league. If they lose tonight, which means Miami wins, they will get Miami’s pick which is the best possible scenario for them because the 11th pick in the draft is the lowest they can use that pick before it is protected by Miami. In addition, by losing they could move into a tie for the second worst record in the league and with their own draft pick (not Miami’s) get even closer to that top pick in the draft by virtue of having more ping pong balls in the NBA draft lottery.


Tonight’s Tip-Off
This entire scenario is so delicious it just must be fattening. And that alone makes this must-see-TV but if you are inclined to include this soap opera in your NBA picks know that the players themselves don’t care nearly as much about losing this game as their respective coaches and team executives. The GM’s have to just grin and bear it unless they want to summon their coaches at halftime to tank the game. Perhaps the players with the most job security and the longest contracts won’t mind taking the night off for the good of the club but all the others who are vying to stay on an NBA roster will play as though their gainful employment depends on it.

If you have to bet this one I say peruse the NBA betting odds and take the team with the points because in a battle of NBA talent - these teams come unarmed.

Free NBA Picks: Heat +2 at BetOnline

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