Updated: December 7, 2010, 6:27 PM ET

PER Diem: Hope For West's Hopeless

By John Hollinger
ESPN.com

We've been running teams' Playoff Odds for a while now, and fans' reactions have been all over the map -- depending mostly on the teams for which they root.

Fans of good teams chortle at the prospect of their teams having, say, "only" an 87 percent probability of making the postseason when it really should be 101 percent, or chafe at the other teams that project to end up with as good or better records.

Fans of bad teams, on the other hand, tend to send me glass-half-full messages. The most common? Those would be the ones I get from followers of the league's most desperate clubs, seeing their 0.5 percent odds and asking, "So you're saying there's a chance?"

Check out the rest of Hollinger's PER Diem for Tuesday Insider

Millman's Right Angles: Tricks Of NBA

Eastern Conference Best, Worst Storylines

By Jeremy Schmidt
TrueHoop Network

Which upbeat story deserves more attention?

Although the Bucks' offense has been miserable all season, they've been able to continue to play the stingy defense that led them to the playoffs last season. Milwaukee is fifth in the league in defensive efficiency, and in the 13 games Andrew Bogut has played, it has allowed 100 points in regulation to only the Lakers, the league's No. 1-ranked offensive team.

What downbeat story deserves more attention?

From "executive of the year" to "what he was thinking isn't clear" is the fall John Hammond has experienced during the past seven months. The early returns on his acquisitions of Drew Gooden, Corey Maggette and Keyon Dooling and the re-signing of John Salmons have not been strong.Of that group, only Gooden is shooting better than 40 percent for a Bucks team that currently sits a very disappointing six games under .500.

Click here to read the THN's take on every other East team.

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