The NBA Lottery ... By the Numbers

May 17, 2013
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Lottery Ping Pong Balls

After the weekend wraps up, the Wine and Gold contingent will head to the Big Apple to find out where they’ll be making the first of their two first round picks in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Cavaliers have a pretty good track record in the Lottery, and we’ll see if Lady Luck is smiling once again when the ping-pong balls start popping on Tuesday. In the meantime, here are some diggable digits to get you ready for next week’s big night …


5/17 … The date in 2011 that Nick Gilbert and the Cavaliers won the NBA Lottery – coincidentally the same day as Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day

2.8 … chance (in 100) that the Cavaliers – utilizing the Clippers’ pick – had of winning the NBA Lottery on that date on 2011. They used the top pick on the eventual Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving

19.9 … chance that the Cavaliers – utilizing their own pick – had of winning the NBA Lottery on that date on 2011. They finished fourth and selected Tristan Thompson, who was later named All-Rookie Second Team

13.8 … chance the Cavaliers had of winning the top pick last May. They finished fourth and selected All-Rookie First Team guard, Dion Waiters

25 … chance that the Orlando Magic will win the 2013 Lottery

15.6 … chance the Cavaliers have of winning 2013 Lottery.

.500 … Orlando’s record in 1992, one year after winning the 1991 Lottery and selecting Shaquille O’Neal

1.5 … chance – or 1-out-of-66 – that Orlando had to win the Lottery after the 1992 season. They did win it and chose Michigan forward Chris Webber, but dealt him to the Warriors in exchange for Memphis guard Penny Hardaway and three future picks

1.8 … chance that Bulls had to win the top pick in 2008. Chicago scored the second biggest Lottery upset in NBA history, winning it and choosing future MVP Derek Rose with the top pick

10 … occasions that the Lottery will be held in New York City as opposed to Secaucus, New Jersey

28 … years that the Lottery has been in existence, beginning in 1985 – the year that featured the infamous “frozen envelope” conspiracy that supposedly allowed the New York Knicks to draft Georgetown center Patrick Ewing

7 … players picked No. 1 overall since 1990 that have never made a single All-Star Game

5 … occasions that the Clippers have won the NBA Lottery. After two of those wins (2011 and 1986) that picks wound up in the hands of the Cavaliers. In 2011, that choice was Kyrie Irving. In 1986, the Lottery’s second season, the Clips came out winners. But a deal with the Sixers back in 1979 – one that sent Joe “Jellybean” Bryant to San Diego – gave Philly the top pick in 1986. The Sixers traded that pick to Cleveland for Roy Hinson and cash considerations. And that pick would eventually become five-time All-Star, Brad Daugherty.

37.73 … chance that the Sixers would win the Lottery in 1996, the top odds-on favorite that actually won. Later that June, Philly went on to select Georgetown guard Allen Iverson

3 … times that the Orlando Magic have won the Lottery, second-most to the Clippers. The Cavs, Hornets, Spurs, Wizards, Nets, Bucks and Bulls have won it twice apiece.

15 … rounds in the 1961 NBA Draft.

10 … rounds the Draft was shortened to from 1974-84

7 … rounds the Draft was reduced to from 1985-87

19 … wins the Rockets improved the season after selecting Houston center Hakeem Olajuwon in 1983. Houston was the last team to win the top pick via the pre-Lottery “coin toss” method. After Portland tabbed Sam Bowie, the Bulls chose Michael Jordan two spots later. He and Olajuwon would go on to win every NBA Championship between 1991 and 1998.

16 … different teams that have won the NBA Lottery

3 … occasions that a team with the worst record from the previous season – (Nets, 1990; Cavs, 2003; Magic, 2004) – has won the Lottery

4 … occasions that a team with the second-worst record the previous season has won the Lottery

5 … occasions that a team with the third-worst record the previous season has won the Lottery. The Cavaliers (24-58) finished this past season in that spot.