I know that some of you are going to say it doesn't matter what happened in the lottery before because every lottery is a random event. But I can't help but look back at past lotteries to see where the team with the second worst record ended up picking. At least it gives me something to do so I don't go crazy waiting for May 22 to get here.
Starting with 1991 where the weighted lottery started, here are the teams who had the second worst record and where they picked.
Year Team Pick 1991 Miami 5 1992 Orlando 1 1993 Minnesota 5 1994 Detroit 3 1995 Washington 4 1996 Philadelphia 1 1997 San Antonio 1 1998 Toronto 4 1999 LA Clippers 4 2000 Chicago 4 2001 Golden State 5 2002 Chicago 2 2003 Denver 3 2004 Chicago 3 2005 New Orleans 4 2006 Chicago 2
One thing I noticed is that between 2000 and 2006, Chicago had the second worst record 4 times and the worst record once. That is a long time to be at the bottom of the league. But they are reaping the results of that now as they drafted talented young players who are blossoming and got them to the playoffs this season. Even though the Celtics haven't been at the bottom, Danny drafted very well and we have a lot of young and talented players who are beginning to blossom now and I believe that next year we will reap the benefits as well.
Over this 16 year period, the team with the second worst record picked first 3 times. They picked second only 2 times. They picked third 3 times. They picked fourth 5 times. And they picked fifth 3 times. Just because we have the second most ping pong balls, doesn't guarantee us a first or second pick. We can see from the above results that nothing is guaranteed in the lottery. You can have the most ping pong balls and pick third, as we did in 1997 when Duncan was the prize. Or a team can have the 6th most ping pong balls and win the lottery, as Milwaukee did in 2005.
The Celtics have had terrible luck and tragedy since their second pick in the 1986 draft died just days after being picked. For a team who is supposed to have the "luck of the Irish" behind them, they have had just the opposite. It is about time that our luck turned around and as Greg Popovich said, if there is any justice in this world, the Celtics should win the lottery this season.
The Grizzlies had the worst record but they weren't eligible for the first pick until 1999 since they were an expansion team. So I was going by only those teams who were elibible for the top pick. Of the teams who were elible to win the top pick, Boston had the worst record and San Antonio was next.