To me, the NBA Draft Lottery has always been an event. As a kid I was captivated by the ping-pong balls with teams logos on them. There was nothing like seeing those big, clunky white envelopes get opened up and watch the Commish show a teams destiny as only he could. Watching GMs try their best not to cringe as their team would not be rewarded for their terrible seasons. Who could forget Pat Williams and the Magic getting back-to-back #1 picks? I also loved when teams first started sending players instead of executives because they looked so out of place. The Lottery has always had an element of mystique and fun to it.
This year its big. The lottery is full of teams that are just a couple pieces away from making a run at the playoffs. There is a legitimate ‘Who should go #1?’ debate for the first time in god knows how long. The excitement is in the air for some of these lottery teams. Unfortunately, tomorrow for some teams that excitement is going to multiply and turn into a temporary state of ecstasy. For others, that excitement and optimism will damper and send them into despair, muttering the words Oden, Durant and probably the number 3 over and over again.
Since 1990 only three teams with the highest chances of gaining the #1 pick have actually gotten it. In 90 it was New Jersey, 03′ it was Cleveland and in 04′ it was Orlando. Bad news for Boston fans…the team with the 2nd best chances usually tends to drop out of the top and end up at #3 or worst. In 05′ New Orleans fell to #4, in 04 Chicago landed at #3 same with Denver in 03.
But I’m not John friggin Hollinger. You know what I work on; conspiracy theories baby. So far this year I haven’t been very right on them. I said Stern wouldn’t let a San Antonio/Utah conference finals happen….he did. But he will redeem himself with this Lottery.
- Phoenix (from Atlanta)
- Chicago (from New York)
- Atlanta (from Indiana)
- New Orleans
- LA Clippers
A brotha can dream right?
Now why on earth would I do this? My initial theory was that the Commish would not want his potential future cornerstones of the L starting their careers in Memphis or Milwaukee. So I had Boston and Atlanta in the top 2. But I ended up taking Atlanta out because they don’t deserve Durant or Oden after their dumb draft choices the last few years. The Basketball Gods have to punish them for their sins, and the only way I know of that happening is them dropping out of the top 3 and that pick going right to Phoenix. Boston I have at #1 based on karma. They have to get the #1 pick…or at least the #2 pick. Ending up at #3 could end up being devastating for their fan base. They’ve watched both Red Auerbach and Dennis Johnson fall to the Grim Reaper. They have had a terrible year, a year so bad that it started the tank-a-mania arguments all over again. Through all of this the Celtics have done everything the right way; played hard, played through it and even didn’t fire their coach. They have to get it right? Portland at #2….unlikely? Yes. Pipe dream? More than likely. But if we can fall from #1 to #4 and Toronto can jump from #5 to #1 all in the same year anything is possible. 6.02% chance baby! Seattle isn’t getting rewarded by the L with a good draft pick seeing as how no one knows where they are going to be after next year. Milwaukee drops down to 5 for no apparent reason…I just don’t like their new uniforms. And Michael Redd’s quickly disappearing hairline. If I get any of the top 6 right I’ll be happy.
Other thoughts today;
- I gained some respect for Robert Horry when he said this;
“I’m an old-fashioned player, an old-school player who will foul you and foul you hard.”
- I lost some respect for Robert Horry when he said this;
“I’m still amazed at the notoriety that this one play got compared to Baron Davis‘ foul [against Fisher in the Golden State-Utah series] and Mikki Moore‘s foul [against Aleksandar Pavlovic in the Cleveland Cavaliers series],” Horry said. “Those were like malicious fouls in my eyes. Guys who can’t protect themselves off their feet. Blow to the head.”
- Seriously Robert? Those were malicious fouls? You played in the Finals against the Riley-era Knicks. You’ve been around too long to say something like that.
- Utah is in deep trouble I don’t care what anyone says. Look at the box score. Deron Williams had 34, including 18 in the 4th quarter…but look at how many shots he took. He was their leading scorer and he took 23 shots which is more than the entire Jazz bench combined. That plays directly into the Spurs hand. Thats the trapeze that Nash managed to toe during the Suns series. The Spurs have two physical post defenders in Oberto and Elson who are going to make Carlos Boozer earn everything. There is a large jump from pounding and bruising Yao, Chuck Hayes and Andres Biedrins. Oberto will flop and get under Boozer’s skin like only a Euro-player can. Elson…is just crazy. They keys for Utah to even think about having a chance are Okur and Kirilenko. This has been noted all playoffs; when they play well the Jazz tend to win.
- Cleveland/Detroit kicks off tonight…half of me hopes LeBron reverts to his old self for the good of basketball, but the other half remembers that Larry Hughes is Cleveland’s second leading scorer. I’m sorry, but when you are in the Eastern Conference Finals and Larry Hughes is your #2 guy you are up shit’s creek without a paddle.
- Another reason Utah won’t win this series; they haven’t won in San Antonio since 1999. In case you were wondering that was the year Napster was created and Wayne Gretzky was playing his final NHL season. I was in middle school.
- Baseball….the Yankees suck and the Brewers don’t. That’s all I got.