The Hawks have a 10.5 percent chance of landing the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick tonight. It’s not a great chance, obviously, but it is … a chance.
For whatever it’s worth as a reference point, the Hawks’ odds of winning the NBA draft lottery are much better than the Falcons’ odds of winning next season’s Super Bowl or the Braves’ odds of winning this year’s World Series. The chances of those things happening are only 3.33 percent, according to Vegas Insider.
The Hawks’ odds of winning the draft lottery, also known as the Zion Williamson Sweepstakes, are about the same as the odds of the Braves winning the National League pennant this season (10/1) and better than the odds of the Falcons winning the NFC championship next season (15/1).
The NBA draft lottery will be televised on ESPN during a half-hour show beginning at 8:30 p.m. Four teams have a better chance than the Hawks at the No. 1 pick – the New York Knicks, Cleveland and Phoenix at 14 percent each and Chicago at 12.5 percent.
The remaining teams in the lottery have lesser chances at the top pick: Washington, 9 percent; Dallas, Memphis and New Orleans, 6 percent each; Minnesota, 3 percent; Los Angeles Lakers, 2 percent; and Charlotte, Miami and Sacramento, 1 percent each.
> Read more: ‘Tryin’ for Zion’ sweepstakes about to get a winner.
> And more: If the Hawks luck up and land the No. 1 pick, would tonight’s lottery mark … the biggest night in the history of the Atlanta Hawks? Mark Bradley explores that thought.
The Braves tonight will open a six-game homestand against teams from what has turned out to be the National League’s best and deepest division. The homestand starts with three games against the St. Louis Cardinals, followed by three against the Milwaukee Brewers, both of the NL Central.
The Cardinals led the division with a 20-10 record two weeks ago, but since then have lost nine of 11 games to drop to fourth place. They lost three in a row to Pittsburgh over the weekend. Still, the Cardinals (22-19) are one of four NL Central teams with winning records; the Cubs, Brewers and Pirates are the others. The division’s last-place team, Cincinnati, is just five games under .500.
Milwaukee, which opens a three-game series at SunTrust Park on Friday night, is in second place in the division behind the Cubs. Since losing their first three series of the season, including a three-game sweep by the Braves at STP to open April, the Cubs have won nine of 10 series, splitting the other, and currently have the NL’s best record.
> MLB.com’s “power rankings” this week have three NL Central members among the major leagues’ top eight teams (Cubs at No. 5, Cardinals at No. 7 despite their current slump and Brewers at No. 8).
> Tonight’s pitching matchup: Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-2, 5.94) vs. Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty (3-3, 4.32).
And finally, three Leadoff links:
> 1. “I keep hearing (Falcons) owner Arthur Blank is getting restless,” Peter King writes in his “Football Morning in America” column. “In the Falcons’ last 35 games (the first one in that 35-game string is the Super Bowl loss to New England), they’re 18-17, and they’ve got a $30-million-a-year quarterback and a receiver, soon, likely to be a $20-million-a-year player. Yet a team in the Falcons’ division, New Orleans, scored 90 points more than Atlanta last year.” King ranks the Falcons 17th among NFL teams.
> 2. Sunday’s shutout win continues the healing for Atlanta United, Steve Hummer writes.
> 3. Tate Ratledge, the nation’s No. 5-rated offensive tackle prospect, Monday announced his commitment to Georgia as part of the 2020 recruiting class.
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