It’s 2015. Everyone has access to the internet. So when the Associated Press goes out of their way to write:
New York has the inside track to the most ping-pong balls in the lottery since the tiebreaker with the Timberwolves goes in the Knicks’ favor if they finish the season tied.
then that is not cool. That is not how it works. If two teams end the season with the same record, they split the ping pong balls evenly (so it would go from one team having a 25% chance at the #1 pick and the other team having a 20% chance to both teams having a 22.5% chance). But then, right after the season ends, the NBA flips coins to break ties to determine draft order outside of the three picks (which are decided by the ping pong balls). The coin flip will determine who is “officially” the #1 team in the draft and who is “officially” the #2 team in the draft. This matters because the #1 team can not fall lower than #4 in the draft while the #2 team can fall to #5 (under the rare occasion where the first three picks, which are the only picks actually determined by the lottery, all go to teams later in the draft, like, say, the Nuggets, the Magic and the Lakers).
Anyhow, the Knicks take on the Hawks, who rested their starters the other day but will be playing them all today (except the injured Paul Millsap). The Hawks are actually only 7-6 in their last 13 games, so this might be a slightly scary game (the last game of the season will be downright terrifying, as the Knicks can easily beat the Pistons).