Six to go... Now is the time to follow Darius and just quit!
That should be the theme for this team the remaining six games. Why win? You have already avoided the long 20 game end of the season losing streak, so you have saved face in that regard. Darius basically quit on this organization and community the second he and Maurice Cheeks had their tiff, so now is the time to follow the example set by one of your "best" players. Roll over, play dead, and pack it in for the remaining six games. I know it is the age-old cliche in this league that is often debated, but really, there is no debate. So why lose? Well, for one you are really good at it. That has been proven. But more importantly, it actually means something to lose out.
Here is what I mean.
Probability of Draft Pick based on finish (based on 2005 NBA Draft):
Last Place overall- 25.00% of getting the #1 pick, 21.46% chance of getting the #2 pick, and 17.74% of getting the third overall pick.
Second to last overall-17.8% for the #1 pick, 17.3% for #2, and 16.4% for #3.
Third worst record-17.27% for the #1 pick.
Now the bad news which shoots this theory of play to lose down: The last place team overall has the best chance to land the #4 pick (35.8%).
So why play to win? As an organization you made the choice last year to throw away the final 27 games in the name of "looking under the hood" and evaluating. Why waste the final six games by NOT having Telfair, Jack, and Webster play a ton of minutes? If you lose, who cares? This has basically been the Las Vegas Summer League for a good chunk of the season, your big men have pretty much packed it in with their variety of ailments and bumps and bruises, so lets make if official.
Oh, there is one reason why not. Denver can clinch the NW Division title with a win tomorrow. Why is that a big deal? The guys clinching it for Denver would include Ruben Patterson, former assistant coach Tim Grgurich, and former player Assistant GM Mark Warkentien. Not sure if Warkentien will be here to celebrate, but you have to feel like Ruben and Grgurich would love nothing more than to have the opportunity to win a division title here in Portland.