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NBA Draft 2014: Nuggets assured of lottery slot, benefitting Magic

Denver's loss to the Spurs on Wednesday cemented its first trip to the lottery in 10 seasons.

Darrell Arthur
Darrell Arthur
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets' 108-103 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday officially eliminated them from playoff contention, assuring them of their first trip to the NBA Draft Lottery since 2003.

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Ordinarily, a Western team being assured of a lotto slot wouldn't have any bearing on the Orlando Magic, but due to the Dwight Howard trade in 2012, the circumstances surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft aren't ordinary. The Magic will receive the lesser first-round Draft choice between the Nuggets' and New York Knicks'--we call it the WoNK here at Orlando Pinstriped Post--so Denver's presence in the lottery moves Orlando one step closer to a guaranteed second top-14 selection.

The Magic and their fans can now turn their attention toward the Knicks, who trail the slumping Atlanta Hawks by two games--three in the loss column--for the East's final playoff spot. Because the two teams split their head-to-head series, division record stands as the next tiebreaker. Atlanta owns a 7-6 record in the Southeast, while New York has gone 6-6 to date in the Atlantic.

We'll continue to monitor the WoNK situation as it plays out in the season's final weeks.

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