Lottery Fever!

Editor’s Note: Attention to NBA GM’s…Buying a copy of Shirley Jacksons: “The Lottery” will be of no help to you; however it may not hurt some of you as much as you’d think.

Earlier this week, NBA aficionado and author of this very website, @TheSpangover, sent me a tweet saying this:

“Still stand by not tanking.Talent level at 15 for @Bucks is same as 8th pick. Deep draft. Hear me @Galaxy_Diener ? Harris trade was bad tho”

This was in response to the NBA lottery on Tuesday night, I can only assume, as the teams were put into their official order:

1)    Cleveland – The Cavs and owner David Gilbert received the final payment of their LeBron James sale to Miami.

2)    Orlando – Might just be the happiest team to fall to number 2 in NBA history.  They get the no brainer position of picking either McLemore or Noel.

3)    Washington – Sitting in no man’s land with a very interesting roster make up, the Wizards are sure to fail no matter what in this position.

4)    Charlotte – Probably the least cared about franchise in pro sports.  This was in my opinion the biggest news of the draw.  Dropping to 4 in this draft is devastating to an already poorly constructed team.

5)    Phoenix – The first of a line of dominos that will make this draft very hard to predict.  Stay Tuned for @TheSpangover ‘s best guess in the coming weeks.

6)    New Orleans – Will Eric Gordon ever pan out?  Do the Pelicans roll the dice and pick a combo 3/4 to go with Gordon and Unibrow?  Bennett from UNLV could be really interesting here.

7)    Sacramento – I’m sure the Kings, fresh off of securing its team short term future in Sacramento, will follow up with…well…something.  Their biggest challenge will be finding someone lazier than Tyreke Evans, or more mental than DeMarcus Cousins.   

8)    Detroit – Pretty simple here.  Detroit needs scoring.  Shabazz can score.  If he’s here at 8, they have to take him, right?  I say yes.  8 is a good spot for pushing all the chips onto one number.  Side note: Always play 34 on the roulette wheel.

9)    Minnesota – Cody Zeller, we don’t want Minnesota’s roster to lose its Caucasian ratio.  Unless you are Al Sharpton.  And if you are Al Sharpton, why are you reading this article?

10)  Portland – Another dice rolling spot here for a pretty nice roster.  I take the most explosive slasher on the board.

11)  Philadelphia – If I had to pick one lottery destined to pick earlier in next year’s lottery it’s them.  I hope they don’t take the Big White guy from Gonzaga.

12)  Oklahoma City – They should trade this pick to a desperate team.  Whoever they choose will be buried deep.

13)  Dallas – Tough spot here.  They need to get athletic, quick, but who will be available here?

14)  Utah – The Al Jefferson problem will always linger.  Keep or trade?  I’d try to trade up and make a run at Burke.  Al Jeff, Hayward, and #14 to Washington for #3 and Okefor would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

Now to the point

CC looked at this order and came to the conclusion that sitting at 15 isn’t much worse than sitting at 8.  I agree, for the most part, but to get a full view of how bad the NBA is, the Bucks were closer to Wizards than they were to New Jersey (Home Court in Rd. 1).

When was the last time a team won the NBA finals without their best player being a player they drafted in the lottery?

If you are looking to argue, and disagree about building through the draft, you’ll say the 2004 Pistons.  They were a patchwork hardworking team built for efficiency and defense.  If you are a Bucks fan you might recognize a name from that Front Office…John Hammond*.

*Google John Hammond.  In this day of sports media how can the head of a Major 3 pro sports team not have his name show up on the first page of a Google search?  Next, check out his Wiki Page.  There are bigger pages for retired indoor soccer players.

What is funny about that Pistons team is that they are the biggest exception in NBA history.  2004 was a very down year.  Tayshaun Prince was their best drafted player; however you could argue that Billups or Rip Hamilton was their best player, both acquired in shrewd deals.  Prince definitely was the lynch pin as 2nd best defensive player and very efficient offensive wing.

If you go back and skip over the Pistons, you come to the 1983 76’ers.  They Bought Erving and Malone and won the title. 

The lesson is this:  You have to draft a superstar and surround him with 2 all stars and solid defensive supporting cast.  How can the Bucks even begin to compete for a title if they never have an All NBA talent?  The answer is they can’t.

So what do we do?  We lose.  We email Senator Kohl, we stop going to games.  Don’t support these 8 seed playoff teams.  When you are a playoff team, and still in the bottom half of the league, you don’t deserve a sell out in the playoffs.  Send the message to ownership that Milwaukee wants a winner.

Miami was nothing before Wade, OKC was nothing before Durant.  You must get the superstar in place before you can get anything else.  If you acquire a great cast or 1 all-star, you’ll be too good to finish high in the lottery and be forever unable to acquire the stud.    Trying to get the 8 seed year after year is the shortest sighted goal in sports.  The pursuit of win now is the main reason preventing the Bucks from Winning.

The NBA is half timing and half luck.  If you never put yourself in position to get lucky, you never will be. 

Phillip J Fry Said it best: (Bucks are the Grasshopper and the Lottery teams are the octopus)

“All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter, while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns and also he got a race car.

Is any of this getting through to you?”

The NBA: Where well planned failing is more successful than good old fashioned blind hard work.

Are you listening Herb?



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    - Diener34 is a guest columnist at CC’s Third Degree and can be followed on Twitter @Galaxy_Diener


    May 2013