NBA Tank Magic Numbers

2018-19 NBA Tank Magic Numbers

Tank Magic Numbers

Tank GP/R W L W%
NYK 74/8 14 60 .189   5 3 1
PHX 74/8 17 57 .229 NC   6 4
CLE 74/8 19 55 .256 NC NC   6 1
CHI 74/8 21 53 .283 NC NC NC   3
ATL 74/8 26 48 .351 NC NC   5 5 4 3 2 1
MEM 73/9 29 44 .397 NC NC   9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 2 1
DAL 73/9 29 44 .397 NC NC 9   8 7 6 5 4 3 2 2 1
WAS 74/8 30 44 .405 NC NC NC   7 6 5 4 3 2 2 1
NWO 75/7 31 44 .413 NC NC NC NC   6 5 4 3 2 2 1
LAL 73/9 32 41 .438 NC NC NC NC NC   8 7 6 5 5 4 3
MIN 73/9 33 40 .452 NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 7 6 6 5 4
CHA 73/9 34 39 .465 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 7 7 6 5
ORL 73/9 35 38 .479 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 8 7 6 1 1 1 1
SAC 73/9 36 37 .493 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   9 8 7 2 2 2 2 1
MIA 73/9 36 37 .493 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC 9   8 7 2 2 2 2 1
DET 73/9 37 36 .506 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
BKN 74/8 38 36 .513 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   3 3 3 3 2 1 1
SAS 74/8 43 31 .581 NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 8 8 7 6 6 4 4 2 1
BOS 74/8 43 31 .581 NC NC NC NC NC NC 8   8 8 7 6 6 4 4 2 1
OKC 73/9 43 30 .589 NC NC NC NC NC NC 9 9   9 8 7 7 5 5 3 2 1
UTH 73/9 43 30 .589 NC NC NC NC NC NC 9 9 9   8 7 7 5 5 3 2 1
LAC 74/8 44 30 .594 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   7 7 5 5 3 2 1
IND 74/8 45 29 .608 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 6 6 4 3 2
POR 72/10 45 27 .625 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC 10   8 8 6 5 4
HOU 74/8 47 27 .635 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 6 5 4
PHI 73/9 47 26 .643 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC 9   7 6 5 1
DEN 72/10 49 23 .680 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   9 8 4
GSW 73/9 50 23 .684 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   8 4
TOR 74/8 51 23 .689 NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC NC   4
MIL 74/8 55 19 .743 NC NC NC NC NC NC  

What is a Tank Magic Number?

The NBA uses a lottery system to determine which teams get the best picks in the upcoming draft. The worse a team finishes in the standings, the better the chance the team gets a higher draft pick.

Every year a few teams seem to throw in the towel and tank in hopes of getting a higher draft pick.

The Tank Magic Number is the number of games a team needs to lose in order to secure a worse seed in the traditional standings.

Basically, it's the exact opposite of a traditional magic number.

We've taken the traditional standings and flipped them upside down, so in our table, it's still a race to the "top".

Assuming the "better" seed is actually a worse record (#1 seed is the worst record, #2 is the second worst, etc), here are the odds of getting the first pick for next years NBA draft:

  1. 14.0% chance of receiving the No. 1 pick
  2. 14.0% chance
  3. 14.0% chance
  4. 12.5% chance
  5. 10.5% chance
  6. 9.0% chance
  7. 7.5% chance
  8. 6.0% chance
  9. 4.5% chance
  10. 3.0% chance
  11. 2.0% chance
  12. 1.5% chance
  13. 1.0% chance
  14. 0.5% chance

When a team is guaranteed a reverse top three seed, they are highlighted in green. When they are guaranteed a lottery pick, they are highlighted in yellow. When a team clinches a playoff spot, they are no longer a lottery pick, and are highlighted in red.

Two-Team Tiebreaker

  1. Division winner
  2. Better record in head-to-head games
  3. Higher winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
  4. Higher winning percentage in conference games
  5. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference
  6. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in opposite conference
  7. Higher point differential between points scored and points allowed

Three-Team Tiebreaker

  1. Division winner
  2. Best head-to-head winning percentage among all teams tied
  3. Highest winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
  4. Highest winning percentage in conference games
  5. Highest winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference
  6. Highest point differential between points scored and points allowed

Tiebreaking prodecures from NBA.com

Updated: March 25, 2019 5:00am ET