As the Celtics were home preparing for the Pistons last night, there were eight teams in action. Here are 8 things you should know:
2016 DRAFT PICK WATCH
1. The Nets were idle last night. At 10-24, they have the third-worst record in the NBA. With the Lakers losing to the Warriors though, Brooklyn's lead over LAL, who currently has the second-worst record, increased to a full three games. The Celtics own the Nets unconditional first-round draft pick.
2. The Timberwolves were idle last night. At 12-23, they remain tied with the Nuggets and Pelicans for the fifth-worst record in the NBA. Minnesota will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics only if it falls between 13-30. If Minnesota's pick falls between 1-12, they will instead convey their second-round picks in 2016 and 2017. Therefore, this pick would NOT be conveyed if the season ended today because they would be projected to receive the fifth, sixth or seventh pick in the draft.
3. The Mavericks beat the Kings on a Deron Williams buzzer-beater to improve to 20-15. Dallas increased their lead over Grizzlies for the fifth seed to 1.5 games, and cut the Clippers lead over the fourth seed to two games. Dallas will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics only if it falls between 8-30. If Dallas' pick falls between 1-7, the conditional 2016 pick will become a 2017 first-round pick with the same conditions. Therefore, this pick would be conveyed if the season ended today as they would be projected to receive either the 20th, 21st or 22nd pick in the draft.
ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS WATCH
4. The Knicks beat the Hawks 107-101.
Atlantic Division Standings as of 1/5
Boston 19-15 (1 GB)
New York 17-19
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS WATCH
5. WINNERS: Bulls
6. LOSERS: Hawks
Eastern Conference Standings as of 1/5:
1. Cavaliers 23-9
2. Bulls 21-12
3. Heat 21-13
4. Hawks 21-15
5. Raptors 21-15
6. Pacers 19-15
7. Celtics 19-15
8. Pistons 19-16
9. Magic 19-16
7. Brandon Bass played 17 minutes off the bench in the Lakers loss to the Warriors last night. He shot 3-4 from the field and finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds.
BEN SIMMONS UPDATE
8. LSU and Simmons played their second SEC game of the season last night against the Kentucky Wildcats, who came into the matchup ranked ninth in the country. Simmons, slowed down by early foul trouble, shot an impressive 5-5 from the field, went 4-6 from the free throw line and finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block, as LSU beat Kentucky. Afterwards, praise rained down from all corners, including Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson:
LSU's Ben Simmons is the best all around player I've seen since LeBron James came out of high school straight to the NBA!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 6, 2016
WHAT'S ON TONIGHT?
Pistons @ Celtics
Pacers @ Magic
Cavaliers @ Wizards
Knicks @ Heat
Raptors @ Nets
Nuggets @ Timberwolves
Mavericks @ Pelicans
Hornets @ Suns
Clippers @ Blazers
Follow Max Sandgrund on Twitter @SotoSpeakz Max Sandgrund 1/06/2016 10:08:00 AM Tweet Edit