It’s amazing the difference a year makes.
Last year we were sweating out the days leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery here at the Project. The date May 22nd was make-it or break-it for us. Not getting one of the top 2 picks would have crushed the remaining Blazer faithful. Especially after the sting of having the best c chance in 06 and watching Toronto get the #1 pick. The stress level leading up to last year was unbearable…it is quite nice actually being able to enjoy the lottery for once.
(Don’t believe me? Take it from me…last year was the equivalent of knowing you have to go to the grocery store and pick up a pregnancy test. Not the actual purchase of the pregnancy test but waking up in the morning, knowing that at some point you have to go pick one up and at some point you have to wait the three longest minutes of your life to get the results. You’re nervous, you’re scared, you know it could go either way and at the same time you can’t handle any of it. Once they got to the top 5, it was like waiting for your girlfriend to tell you the news.)
We all know the results of last year. It resulted in step 1 of the rejuvenation of Rip City. I wish that kind of jubilation and bliss on the fans of the teams in this year’s lottery. Let me tell you, there are few feelings like that. Last year coming into the lottery there was a verifiable debate on #1 vs. #2. There were teams trapped in the lottery who were only a couple pieces away from leaping to the playoffs. Of the teams in last year’s lottery, 4 jumped in to the playoffs: Boston (we all know why), Philadelphia (Thaddeus Young was their pick), New Orleans (Julian Wright has played a nice role) and Atlanta (Al Horford anyone?)
This years lottery is a bit more depressing. There isn’t quite the optimism surrounding these teams as there were last year. All this teams pretty much have their own set of issues and their own sets of tortured fanbases. Miami Heat fans burned their white t-shirts after watching the D-League All-Stars for the last month and a half. We already know about Seattle fans who better start taking a liking to the Storm. Minnesota and Memphis were both young and sometimes fun but both equally horrible. And we all know the firestorm in New York.
Working against the Heat is the fact that since 1990 only three teams who came in with the best chances of getting the #1 pick…actually left with the #1 pick. The Nets in 1990, the Cavs in 03 and the Magic in 04. The good news for Knicks, Clippers and Bucks fans is that in the past three years the #1 pick has gone to the team with the 5th or 6th best chance of winning. In 05 it was Milwaukee stealing it, 06 it was Toronto and…you know last year.
Unfortunately…I don’t deal with common statistics. I use the best-known strategy (to me): my own devilish thoughts, pre-conceived notions and conspiracy theories. This philosophy has failed me over and over again. But just like the 80’s ladies man who is still trapped in the 80’s, I stay true to the game. So here is what I think may happen tomorrow.
- New York
- New Jersey
- Golden State
Conspiracy theory…with Walsh in power and D’Antoni leading the way…Stern’s going to throw the Knicks a bone. I give the Clippers the #2 pick solely based on the fact that they are from LA…actually they got lucky. I dropped the Heat as far as possible to #4 because of the fact that they didn’t stop D-Wade from making all those commercials, and they hardcore tanked. I mean Pat Riley stopped coaching to go watch college games. For serious? They don’t have DVR’s? No TiVo for Pat? He had to literally stop coaching the D-League All-Stars to go watch Indiana play Penn State. At Penn State. I don’t believe it. Seattle also drops as far as possible because of karma. I mean really? If the team was staying in Seattle I would have given them the #2 because of positive karma…but no. I refuse to move Charlotte way up because of seeing a picture of MJ partying with Charles Oakley. Picks 7-14 hardly ever move so that makes me look a lot better.
And there you have it. I can’t wait to see the players look completely out of place, even if I would rather see worried GMs.