The Milwaukee Bucks Are Betting on Déjà Vu
Milwaukee was never the clear winner of the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery, but they ended up with the best odds of any team in the five major U.S. television markets, the first time an NBA team has done so as a franchise, and possibly ever. But that’s the thing about the NBA Draft Lottery: It doesn’t really matter.
The Bucks had the lowest possible lottery odds. If they’d instead gone with any of the other teams in the five markets, that list would look something like:
Los Angeles Lakers (23%) New Orleans Pelicans (24%) Utah Jazz (27%) Dallas Mavericks (27%) Atlanta Hawks (28%)
The Hawks would have had the third-highest odds, for instance, and the Lakers would have had the fourth-highest odds. The Lakers would only pick seventh, though, because they’re the Lakers, and the Hornets would have picked eighth, because they’re the Hornets.
The Bucks were picked fourth, on the seventh-inning base hit of the fourth-highest-odds lottery team, the Hornets. To their credit, they have since made a move to reduce their lottery odds and are now the fifth-lowest team in the lottery, down to 23.8%, but I thought it would be interesting to look at what kind of team they could have come into the lottery.
I looked at the odds of each team in the lottery of their draft picks before the lottery, assuming they would pick in the lottery, and after the lottery, assuming they would not pick in the lottery.
And here is the Bucks lottery odds before the lottery:
Even if they had gone in at 23% and gotten the top pick as they’d hoped, their worst-case scenario would have left them with 11 picks and the second-worst record in the lottery.
A lot of teams have gone into the lottery as the fourth-highest odds, and the worst-case scenario is that they get the worst-case scenario.
So the question becomes: Could they have been better? How could they have played it better?
Could they have gone down? If they went with the first-overall pick, they would have their worst-case scenario: their own