How Do Bottom 5 NBA Teams At Year-End Finish?

How Do Bottom 5 NBA Teams At Year-End Finish?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It has been a momentous struggle on the court for the Detroit Pistons. Detroit has the NBA’s worst win percentage (.074) and is burdened by the longest losing streak (now 24 games) since the Philadelphia 76ers lost an NBA-record 28 in a row in 2015-16.

With Detroit sitting at 2-25 for the season, it’s worth wondering for Pistons fans and Michigan sportsbooks whether there is any end in sight to the constant losing.

Utilizing we analyzed how teams that are the bottom five of the NBA standings on Jan. 1t finish out the season. Do they stay at the bottom, or should fans expect some improvement? – your source for Michigan sports betting apps – crunched numbers from the last five NBA seasons (2020-21 season eliminated due to COVID-19 schedule) to develop the data.  (Note: We counted six teams in 2021-22 dye to a tie in the standings.)

How Do Year-End Bottom 5 NBA Teams Finish?

SituationNumber of TeamsPercentage
Stay in Bottom 519 of 2673.1%


Can Pistons Recover In 2023-24?

While a single win would be a small semblance of music to Pistons’ fans beleaguered ears at the moment, it’s worth wondering whether Detroit can get back in the playoff chase at all in the new year. Detroit sits 9.5 games behind the No. 11 Atlanta Hawks and No. 10 Toronto Raptors in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, which isn’t an insurmountable gap, given the 55 games remaining in the year.

Right now, oddsmakers at ESPN BET Michigan currently give Detroit +40000 odds of winning the NBA’s Central Division, ranking well behind the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks (-650) and a good ways behind the next closest team (the Chicago Bulls at +20000).

The national sportsbook has taken the Pistons off their playoff board for 2024, however, which means it’s a longshot (at best) for Monty Williams’ team to make the postseason for the first time since 2018-19 season.

Unsurprisingly, the NBA’s bottom five teams on Jan. 1 largely followed that trend over the last half-decade, with 73.1% (19 of 26) staying in that bottom tier. Only one team (the New Orleans Pelicans in 2021-22) made the postseason after being in the bottom five on New Year’s Day.

It’s also worth noting that the only year in which all five stayed in that same tier was in 2019-20, meaning there’s still a glimmer of hope that the Pistons can get hot and climb out of the NBA’s cellar once the calendar flips to 2024.

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is a staff writer for He has covered sports and sports betting for more than seven years and has worked for publications such as, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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