As I continue to look at the various posts around the Celtics Community, there is still an abundance of TnT (Tank'n'Talk). With the two previous lost battles we've had with Playoff caliber teams Miami and Indy (Indy not so much), the frantic Lottery hype network is doing their best to guarantee post views with sensational subjects like "Good Loss in Indy" or messages like "Only 7 more games to go" etc. So, here is a wake up call for all of you Tank-fiends...
The Celtics keep insisting it’s not a sure thing that the team with the worst record will win the NBA Lottery. Unfortunately, they’re right. Judging by history, even if Greg Oden and Kevin Durant declare for the draft, neither will likely suit up next season for Boston.
What hinders more than helps is the news out of draftexpress that Durant is declaring. Which sets off a forum tsunami that stretches across the whole NBA blogosphere. Unfortunately, my tall cold glass of iced-green Koolaid, with one of those cool umbrellas I saw in a magazine, is empty. What? I was thirsty!
The lottery is weighed in favor of the worst teams, but not to the point where losing automatically pays off.
I was quite aware of our chances despite our position in the standings as of today. However, instead of doing the research myself and providing you with the Lottery history, our teams specifically. I have found a source that gathered the stats for me. Why? I don't find satisfaction in being the "stat guy" and I frankly have better things to do. So, here is the work without the effort...
From 1966-1984, the teams with the worst records in each conference flipped a coin to determine which one would draft first, then draft continued by inverse order of record. The lottery was first held in 1985, then restructured in 1990 to improve the chances of teams with the worst records. Orlando won the 1993 lottery with the 11th and best record of any lottery team, so the lottery was readjusted in 1994. Since then, the top pick has still gone to the team with the best chance of winning only three of 13 times and to the team with the second-best chance just once. Last year, Toronto won the lottery with the fifth-worst record and only an 8.8 percent shot of winning. The year before, Milwaukee won with the sixth-worst record and just a 6.3 percent chance.
If the Celtics enter the May 22 lottery with the NBA’s second-worst record, a position they currently hold, they would have a 19.9 percent chance of winning and an 18.8 percent chance of remaining second. The team with the second-worst record has finished second in the lottery only once. Usually, the second-worst team drops to third or further. The most spots a team can fall in the lottery is three. The lottery determines the top three spots, then teams are placed in order by record.
History indicates the Celtics would be better off dropping to the third-worst record because teams with the third-worst records have won the lottery four times, the most of any position. No team with the fourth-worst record has won the lottery, but teams with the fifth-worst records have won three times.
Ten years ago, the Celtics had by far the best chance to win the lottery after finishing with the NBA’s second-worst record. Vancouver owned the worst record, but wasn’t eligible to win the lottery in either of its first two NBA seasons per order of its expansion agreement. The Celtics had also acquired the first-round pick of Dallas, which finished with the sixth-worst record. So the Celtics enjoyed a 36.31 percent chance of winning the lottery — nearly twice what the team with the second-worst record will have this year. But San Antonio, with a 21.60 percent chance, won the lottery and drafted Tim Duncan. Philadelphia, with only a 12.24 percent chance, finished second and took Keith Van Horn. The Celtics ended up with only the third and sixth picks and selected Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer. They made things worse by trading Billups midway through his rookie season. Mercer never did much.
The 1997 NBA Draft was not an especially productive one. Only Duncan, Billups and Tracy McGrady have made All-NBA first, second or third team. Too bad the Celtics didn’t keep Billups and draft McGrady instead of Mercer.
Well, now, hopefully, some of us can take a rest and keep things in perspective. Then maybe, just maybe, we might not curse ourselves yet again! On a more personal note, as much as I love ML Carr, his attempt to set the C's and himself/Pitino up with the 1997 Duncan Lottery pick, bares some responsibility with this cursed limp to 17, IMHO. More information about this subject can be found here on this great site Sports Law Blog.
Good article. I think we are way overdue to get the number one pick. Our last top pick was in 1950 when they picked Chuck Share. Our last #2 pick was in 1986 when we picked Len Bias, and we all know how that ended up. We are way overdue some luck no matter where we pick. We aren't tanking. We have been hit by injury after injury this season and in spite of that they have played hard and played to win every game.
That being said, If we don't get a top 2 pick, it won't be the end of the world. We can still get a good player with the 3rd or 4th pick and even better, we can use it as a trading chip to bring in a veteran.
And even moreso, I like the team we have. I believe that they are a good team and with Wally, Pierce, Tony, Perk et all healthy next season, with all the experience the kids have gotten this season and another year under their belts, we are going to be a very good team.
That's why I think 'toine and Mitten where wrong. We have a bunch of young guys, some of which will be good players with experience and if we can get a Oden we will be like Cleveland in the sense he will make a close to immediate impact. At least faster than Perk has made.
What Glovey and Wiggle were blindly missing was we almost beat their sorry a$$e$. With our third string players no less!