Monday, May 21, 2007

The Lottery Approaches

The NBA Lottery is Tuesday night, and I’m already excited about figuring out where the top players will be heading. I definitely have some preferences, but I’m guessing the odds will win out and destroy my fantastical hopes of how the ping pong balls will bounce. This year, I think winning the lottery is really getting either of the top two picks, so I’m basing my preferred lottery winners on where I would like to see Oden and Kid Nut Raven play next season. Here are the odds for getting either the first or second pick in the lottery.

Memphis 46.5%

Boston 38.7%

Milwaukee 31.3%

Suns (Atlanta) 24.5%

Seattle 18.5%

Portland 11.3%

Minnesota 11.3%

Charlotte 4.1%

Chicago (NY) 4.1%

Sacramento 3.9%

Atlanta (Indy) 1.7%

Philly 1.5%

New Orleans 1.3%

LA Clippers 1.1%

I think it would be interesting to see Oden and Durant both end out on Eastern Conference rosters, because that could shift the power away from the West, and I think that is sort of reflected in my lottery preference. This is not the actual order that I would like for the lottery. It’s just the order of teams that I would like to have either of the top-two picks.

14. Atlanta – First of all, they’ll ruin whoever they get. Although I’ve bashed Oden, I do want to see him turn into a the player he can be in the NBA. It would just be frustrating watching the Hawks try to fit Josh Smith, Josh Childress, Marvin Williams, Kevin Durant, and whoever their foreign small forward is on the floor at the same time. A team of small forwards, you like the sound of that, Leonard? Secondly, remember the Hawks have two lotto picks, but one of them belongs to the Suns if the pick isn’t in the top three. We have to root for the Suns to reel in an Al Horford, Joakim Noah, or Jeff Green, rather than get hosed by the lottery. I must admit a bit of curiosity to see what would happen if the Hawks actually won the top two picks in the draft. I mean, they’d still manage to screw it up, but how? They also still wouldn’t be able to sell out their arena. So sad.

13. Sacramento – these guys had their chance and don’t deserve another bite at the apple. I’d rather see a franchise player go to a younger team.

12. Portland – I guess they’ve cleaned up their image, but they’re still in salary cap hell, and I think Zach Randolph could poison Durant or Oden…literally, I think he might actually put poison in their Gatorade. I don’t know why he’d do it, but I also don’t know why he wears a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit to every game.

11. Seattle – I never saw this low coming for the Sonics during the heyday of the Payton-Schrempf-Kemp teams of the mid-90’s. Perhaps no team has drafted worse the last few years than Seattle, and I don’t think they deserve to be rewarded for that. They deserve that Chinese power forward, Yi Jianlian, and I have no doubt that’s who they will end up with. The Sonics and Hawks are in an arms race. The Hawks are stockpiling small forwards, and the Sonics are going after project big men. So far everybody else is winning.

10. Philly – that guy on House of Payne is trying to use his remote to turn his enormous wife into Beyonce! His REMOTE!!! Hilarious. Any team blessed with Allen Iverson for this long shouldn’t get to have another player that will be incredibly special from Day One. Maybe they can have OJ Mayo next year.

9. Milwaukee – I like the collection of players the Bucks have, and I could see them becoming something pretty decent, but I don’t appreciate their tankfest at the end of the season. The good people of Milwaukee know better, and the Bucks’ brass should as well. Play the game the right way. I just worry that nobody would care if Oden or Durant went to Milwaukee—possibly the least interesting team in the league. One time we completely eradicated the Bucks roster on NBA Live and replaced it with Andre 3000 as the starting point guard, Richie Farmer as the two-guard, Cutter Calhoun at the small forward, Mr. Faceman at the 4, and the Notorious Third Legg holding down the fort in the paint. That Bucks team would be approximately ten jillion times more fun to watch than last years’ team…and yes, I’m even factoring Charlie Villanueva’s lack of eyebrows into that equation.

  1. Memphis – same principle as Milwaukee. I’m just not going to be too excited about them getting Oden or Durant. Let them slip to number three and bring the Tennessee native, Brandan Wright, back home.
  1. LA Clippers -- if they let Maggette rot at the end of the bench, then who is to say the same wouldn’t happen with Durant. And I don’t want anyone taking away Chris Kaman’s minutes, so keep Oden far far away. That said, I think the Clips are probably a Durant away from being a legit contender, and Elton Brand works too hard to be on teams perpetually futile.
  1. Indy -- the Pacers own the rights to their lottery pick only if it's in the top three (technically, they can keep the pick if it's in the top ten, but that's only mathematically possible if they win one of the top three picks). I'd love to see Jermaine O'Neal get a legit running mate, but with all those goofy white guys, where are the minutes? The best justification for hoping the Pacers get Durant or Oden is that either of those guys might be enticing enough for Larry Bird to name himself head coach again.
  1. Minnesota – I wouldn’t mind seeing Garnett get a legit running-mate. And if Oden landed in Minny, Garnett’s intensity would force big Greg to become a great player. Garnett, Foye, and Oden or Durant could be a very formidable threesome next year. And nobody appreciates a good threesome more than this guy.
  1. Charlotte -- I love the Bobcats’ nucleus, but I’m worried that MJ would micro-manage too much if he had Greg or Kid Nut Raven. I don’t think you can really blame Kwame Brown’s entire career on MJ, but I don’t think he helped. If the Bobcats got the number one pick, I honestly don’t know who they would take. They already have Okafur and May down low, and that duo has been very tough when healthy. They also have Morrison (the third pick last year) at Durant’s position. I feel like the Bobcats need a really strong scorer, but considering the health woes of their bigs, maybe Oden is the safer pick.
  1. Boston – they have a team built for the future. A superstar in Paul Pierce already there, and young guys at every other position. Oden could really allow Boston to spread the floor and let Pierce, Rondo, and Green isolate against inferior athletes, which would be fun to watch. Durant would make it extremely tough to double Pierce, so we could see Paul going for over 30 a night. I hate seeing the Celtics suck this badly, but I feel like they’ve been trying to suck for the last two years all building up to tomorrow night. They should have learned in 1997 that you can’t count on getting
  1. New Orleans -- Another team that has a nucleus I really like. But they have greater needs at the 3 and 5 than Charlotte. I would love to see Chris Paul operating with a legit star, and I have some lingering sympathy for the city of New Orleans.
  1. Chicago – The Bulls really feel like a team that is a player away. Deng, Gordon, and company are all very good players, but none have the feel of a super star. Oden or Durant could bring that flair that is lacking in Chicago and immediately put them over the top. But let’s be honest, I just really want to see one of these guys get picked by the team that owns New York’s unprotected first round pick. Even Atlanta was smart enough to at least protect its pick for one of the most top-heavy drafts in the last twenty years.

7 Comments:

Blogger Leonard Peltier said...

In addition to the Bucks' tankfest and their far superior bizarro counterparts, let's also consider what they did in the 2005 draft. Admittedly, that year wasn't as stacked as some of those in recent memory, but they still took Andrew Bogut with the number one pick. In their defense, having the #1 overall pick is not always the blessing that everyone makes it out to be - just ask the T-wolves team that took Joe Smith or the Clips when they took the Kandi man. Still, they passed on Deron Williams AND Chris Paul, two of the best young point guards in the league. In short, I've just realized how much I hate the Bucks without really knowing it until this very moment.
On another note, you know I couldn't be happier if the Bulls got the first pick - both to spite Isaiah and his Knicks and to see the Bulls rise again.
Lastly, I'm reluctant to admit it, but MJ really shouldn't have taken Kwame. That at least ranks up there with the Kandi man. Now I'm going to go flog myself for my indiscretion.

May 22, 2007 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Jumping Bull said...

Runs:

I must remind you that the Hawks would only get the Pacers' pick if it's NOT one of the top 3 picks in the draft. I believe that the Pacers' have a combined 2.9% chance of landing one of the top 3 spots in the lottery; with that being said, I expect your journalistic integrity will implore you to update your post. As an aside, I'm sure that even if the Pacers somehow magically landed a top three pick, they'd only trade it to get Al Harrington back. I'm now going to put on my Reggie jersey and a g-string and go do some cartwheels around the Indianapolis motor speedway while Mario Andretti laughs hysterically and throws butter packets at me...

May 22, 2007 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

As you wish, Jumping Bull, an update is coming. By the way, if you see Leonard, tell him to stop lashing himself. Leonard, it's not your fault...no, really, it's not your fault. It's not your fault, Leonard.

May 22, 2007 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

I feel for the Celtics, but like you said, you can't attempt to suck for several years with the anticipation of landing a top spot in the draft. I actually think 5th will be a good position for them. Hopefully, the risks and really bad picks are made at 3 or 4 and the Celtics can land Horford. I think he would be an excellent compliment to Albert Jefferson.

But, honestly, how did the Portland Trailblazers end up with the No. 1 pick. Will they just pretend that Oden and Durant are still in high school. However, Oden, Aldridge, and Roy are a really sick trio of future stars. I mean when Aldridge is the weakest player there you might have something special.

The Hawks have the third pick and how do they not choose Mike Conley Jr at that spot? But on the other hand how can you choose Conley at the three position? This should be an interesting draft because it should be really hard to make a mistake in the lottery, but I'm sure plenty of teams will.

May 22, 2007 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger the butler said...

I almost died choking on my Jameson when I saw the Grizz logo come out of that fourth pick envelope. But hey, I have been saying that I'd be happy landing Brandan Wright, which is still a good possibility at four.

And what about the Chinaman? He looks like a possible stud.

May 23, 2007 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Codename Curveball said...

Is there anyway to put a theme song on this website? I think "For Whom the Bell Tolls" would be appropriate since this blog is dying.

June 3, 2007 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

I'd go with "Afternoon Delight" just for the purposes of irony, but I'm with you, Curveball. I've taken to just yelling my opinions at homeless people so I still feel like I have an audience.

June 3, 2007 at 11:20 PM  

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