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Celtics NBA Draft Lottery Primer


Tom already helped to get you ready for the Draft Lottery earlier today. In a piece over at Boston.com I take another look at everything about the Celtics Draft Lottery chances you need to know heading into the event. Here’s an excerpt of the piece:

Q: How does the lottery work?
A: 14 ping-pong balls, numbered 1-14 are placed in a selection bin. The NBA will select four of these ping-pong balls for each section of the drawing. There are 1,000 possible four-digit combinations of numbers in play for the 14 numbers (the order the balls are selected in doesn’t matter). All of these possible combinations have been distributed among the 14 NBA lottery teams based on their record. An independent official picks four balls, and the team with that assigned combination gets the first pick. Then, the balls are returned and the process is repeated for the second pick, and then again for the third pick. The drawing ends at that point.

Q: Why does the drawing end after the first three teams are selected?
A: After the top-3 picks are determined, the rest of the lottery draft order is compiled via the records of the remaining teams in the lottery, beginning with the squad with the worst remaining record receiving the fourth pick.

Q: How many four-digit combinations to the Celtics have assigned to them?
A: 103 out of a possible 1,000 combinations. That means the Celtics have a 10.3 percent chance of earning the top pick and a 33.4 percent chance of jumping into the top 3.

Q: What happens if the same team has one of the four-digit lottery combinations assigned to them selected twice during the lottery process?
A: In this scenario, the second time the combination is selected for the same team, it is ignored and the balls are placed back in the bin. Then, a new combination is drawn until a different team is selected. Additionally, since there are 1,001 possible combinations for the 14 balls, one combination is not assigned to any team to make the math work and create a tidy 1,000 combinations.

You can check out the full column at Boston.com

  • hax

    Kind of sucks how the only real lottery is for the top 3, with odds being hugely against most teams in the lottery. Oh well, let’s get a top 3 pick.

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