Wiggins Watch Week 3: Celtics back in the lottery after a 1-3 week

It's time for everybody's favorite weekly article - Wiggins Watch!

And by favorite I mean most people hate it. But yet, we march on.

In Week 2's installment, the Celtics had climbed right out of the lottery and into the playoff mix - thus making them ineligible for an elite pick. However, after a win over the Magic last Monday, Boston lost three straight games to fall to 4-7. The Celts are currently holding down the 9-seed in the Eastern Conference.

Again (I feel like I've said this 42 times in three articles), the current standings don't mean much. But the three players at the top of this draft are so good, and potentially so franchise altering, that in a lost season like this one (sorry folks that think this is a 40+ win team) it's nearly impossible to not be aware of the Celts current position in the standings.

Speaking of the holy triumvirate, oh what a week it was for Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle. The country got a front row seat at checking out their immense talents last Tuesday in the Coaches vs Cancer classic - and none of them disappointed.

Here's what each of them have done so far in their college careers.

Wiggins, Kansas: 19 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 58% FG, 40% 3 PT FG (2 games)

Parker, Duke: 23.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 59% FG, 69% 3 PT FG (3 games)

Randle, Kentucky: 20.5 PPG, 14.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 62% FG (4 games)

The college season is very, very young. But so far these guys are living up to the nearly impossible to live up to hype. Now let's take a look at the teams in poll position for their services.

The Top 4 (because there's a three-way tie for 2nd)

1. Jazz, 1-10

2. Milwaukee, 2-7

3. Sacramento, 2-7

4. Washington, 2-7

There is no question who the worst team in the NBA is at this moment, as Utah is playing at a remarkably low level. They are dead last in the NBA in wins, winning percentage, point differential and points per game..establishing themselves as clear leaders in the clubhouse after three weeks. The thing is though - Utah is getting exactly what they want. Gordon Hayward (19.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.5 APG), Enes Kanter (15.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG), and Derrick Favors (14 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.8 BPG) all continue to develop as a young trio to build around, while the supporting cast continues to be horrible enough to lose them games. If Utah lands one of the trio next June, this year will be remembered as a fantastic success, even if they lose 65 games.

As for the three teams at 2-7, they have all been disappointments. Washington was talking playoffs before the season even started, and made a deal for Marcin Gortat as well. Milwaukee signed several middle of the pack free agents (Gary Neal, Zaza Pachulia, OJ Mayo) in an attempt to compete in a weakened East, but so far it hasn't clicked. And Sacramento is a team that looks like it should compete most nights on paper with it's athletic core, but so far has fallen victim to an incredibly deep Western Conference.

Of course, being only ten or so games in - it would be foolish to lock in on only a few teams. Here are some other teams considered contenders for the top few lottery spots.

Expected Wiggins Contenders: 

Celtics, 4-7 - After hitting .500 last week, the Celtics crashed back to Earth hard with three consecutive losses to the Bobcats, Blazers and Timberwolves. After leading in the 4th quarter in each of their first eight games, Boston has not led in the 4th in any of the past three games. This could be another bad (or good if you're like me) week for the Celts as they play four tough games (@ Houston, @ San Antonio, vs Indiana, @ Atlanta). At this exact moment the Celtics hold the #9 lottery position, which would give them a 1.7% chance at the top pick, and a 6.1% chance at a top three pick. There is much work to be done.

76ers, 5-6 - The Atlantic Division leading 76ers had their second consecutive 1-3 week after a 3-0 start, but the awfulness of the Atlantic has kept them in first thus far. Looking at Philly, it's clear they are on a team on the verge of losing a ton of basketball games. Not only are they 2-6 in their past eight games, but they are allowing 111 PPG, five points more than any other team in the league. You just can't win games in the NBA allowing that much when you're best player is Michael Carter-Williams. This team will be in the lottery for good by next week.

Bobcats, 5-5 - Is it possible the Bobcats aren't as terrible as we all (and by "we all" I mean me) think? Charlotte went in to both Cleveland and Boston and won last week, leaving them at 5-5 after ten games, and currently in possession of the 6-seed in the East. However, their 29th ranked offense is unlikely to keep them afloat much longer unless they start scoring. Once teams like the Nets, Knicks, Cavs and Pistons start winning (they all can't be this bad all season - can they?), Charlotte will be back where they belong..in the lottery.

Magic, 4-6 - The Magic are the only team on this list so far to have outscored their opponents this season, something that I think fares well for them (or in the premise of this article..fares poorly) going forward. Now if you've only seen Orlando when they played the Celtics this season, I don't blame you for thinking they are worse than Boston. The Celts won a close one down in Florida and then destroyed them up North. But keep in mind Boston had the single best shooting percentage in the NBA during the 2nd game vs the Magic, something no team could overcome. I think that Orlando's young talent has developed faster than the team thought, and that that will lead to more wins than expected this season. Thus hurting them in the lottery.

Others to Keep an Eye on: 

Knicks, 3-6 - The Knicks record in Week 1 of the NBA season: 1-2, Week 2: 1-2, Week 3: 1-2. With Tyson Chandler out and Ray Felton, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith all disappointing, the Knicks could soon be at a breaking point. This team was designed to "win now" only it's a poorly put together club that peaked last season (good luck getting Smith to ever duplicate that performance). Now the Knicks are getting desperate and pull off impossible trades with the Celtics. Nice try guys.

Nets, 3-6 - Watching the Nets against the Kings the other night was actually pretty sad. Pierce shot 4-12, KG 2-9, and Brooklyn was crushed by a younger, more athletic team. The Nets are also attempting to rest Pierce and KG in back-to-backs, a great idea to keep them fresh later in the season. Only problem is, the hole continues to get deeper for Brooklyn. Don't get me wrong, this is still a playoff team, but with Indiana, Miami and Chicago all looking good..it's vital that Brooklyn wins the Atlantic and takes a top-4 seed. Something that looks a bit iffy right now.

Pistons, 3-6 - This may be the worst shooting team in NBA history. Through nine games, the Pistons are shooting 28.1% from three-point range, yet they show no signs of slowing down how many shots they take from deep. The fact that Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith are shooting a combined 11 threes per game (at 31%) tells you all you need to know about this team. High athleticism, low skill level, even lower basketball IQ. Probably still too much talent for them to miss the playoffs in an awful Eastern Conference, but if they keep shooting threes they may very well shoot themselves into the lottery.

Lakers, 5-7 - I'm actually really rooting for the Lakers to get the 8-seed. I know, I know, it would be great for them to miss the playoffs. But I'd much rather watch them get swept by Oklahoma City than watch them "shock" the basketball world and get a top-3 pick. The last thing anyone should want is to see this old, depleted core get a 19-year-old star. Thankfully, Kobe should be back soon and lift this team to (at least) the upper lottery. Hopefully Stern/Silver leave them there.

Ok, that's all for this week. Now tell me why I'm a heartless, pathetic idiot. Wiggins Watch will never stop.

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