Britt Clement: Feeling Lucky Today

By Britt Clement

For teams that didn’t make it to the playoffs, lottery day is one of the highlights of the offseason. The Bucks (35-47) finished the year just two games behind Indiana (37-45) for the final playoff spot in the East, but a little luck today could help them return to the postseason in 2012.

Looking back at Milwaukee’s lottery history, there isn’t a lot to like. The Bucks have dropped in the lottery five times, remained in the same spot six times and moved up twice. It should be noted that the two times they moved up, they moved up all the way to #1, so at least we have that. An occasional move to the second or third slot never hurt anyone though. (I will concede that the Bucks winning the coin toss to select Lew Alcindor, now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969 was a pretty important victory for Milwaukee).

We would all like to think that the Bucks are due for some good fortune, but the numbers tell us that the odds are long. But focusing on those numbers is a downer, so we will look for some positives.

At some point the 10th slot has to claim the top pick, right??

No team has ever gone from the 10th pick to the top selection. The NBA went to the current lottery system starting with the 1990 draft and since then the only two slots in the top 11 that haven’t received the top pick are 10 and eight. Seven, nine and 11 have all done it once. At some point it has to be 10’s year!

Having the most chances at the lottery hasn’t been a good thing.

Since 1990, the team with the most chances to win the lottery has gotten the top pick twice. The third slot leads with five wins, second and fifth have four each and one and six have each won twice. The last time the number one slot won was 2004. The other interesting thing is that Minnesota (number one slot this year) has never won the lottery and they’ve never even moved up. We’d like to feel bad for them, but this is our time to break some lottery jinxes.

Simulated success

I’ve been using ESPN’s lottery machine and the Bucks are on fire with it. The Bucks got the first pick on my second try yesterday and I’m going to leave it at that. It has to mean that good things are in store for us tonight.

It’s a lot of fun no matter what happens

No matter what the results are, I think the lottery makes for great entertainment. It’s an intense few minutes for NBA fans as each envelope is opened. There’s great anticipation when a club slotted for a certain pick doesn’t show up in their spot. How far did they move up? How many teams moved back? I remember the joy of 2005’s lottery when the Bucks weren’t in the sixth slot and then the growing excitement as we got the first pick. Lets hope that’s the case again tonight. We have moved down a total of four spots and held once in the three lotteries we’ve been in since drafting Andrew Bogut #1 in 2005. This is our year!


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