In a nutshell, because the lottery system only determines the top 3 picks. After that, everything is decided based on win/loss record. The possible scenarios for the Pelicans are as follows: A) A top-3 pick if the ping pong balls bounce in their favor B) The 5th pick if everything plays out according to the odds C) The 6th, 7th, or 8th pick if one, two, or three teams with worse lottery odds than the Pelicans end up jumping into the top 3. Make sense?
« Final Game: Hornets @ Mavericks
Hornets lose to Mavericks and lock in 5th worst record in the league
27-55. Not the worst record the Hornets have ever had. Nothing to be happy about either. The team was gutted by injuries, and it showed tonight as the Hornets weren’t even able to do what they’d been good at all season on offense – shooting – and basically lived on a steady diet of Gordon on the attack and unproductive forays into the paint.
Al-Farouq opened with energy and finished the game with a fantastic 20 rebounds and 16 points. Considering he’d been averaging 7 and 6 for the month of April, it was a surprising result. I doubt it will have any impact on whether Dell Demps will try to re-sign him or not, but it was a nice effort that underlined just how inconsistent he can be – and what his potential still is.
I’m not sure there’s a lot else in this game to talk about that we haven’t seen multiple time this season.
Instead, let’s talk lottery! Odds:
- The Pelicans now possess an 8.8% chance of winning the top pick of the lottery.
- The Pelicans have a 9.7% chance of snagging the second pick of the draft.
- The Pelicans have a 10.7% chance of getting the third pick.
- There is no way for the Pelicans to own the fourth pick, barring trade.
- There is a 26.1% chance the Pelicans remain in the 5th spot.
- There is a 36% chance the Pelicans get the 6th pick in the draft.
- There is an 8.4% chance the Pelicans fall to 7th.
- There is a 0.4% chance the Pelicans fall to 8th.
In essence, the Hornets have about a 30% chance to advance and a 45% chance to fall. With Marcus Smart not coming to the NBA, it appears the draft is now 4-deep. Start warming your lucky talismans.
Sorry I'm not really the best at maths and I also don't really know how the lottery odds work... But you say we have a 26.1% chance at the 5th pick yet a 36% to get the 6th pick, at the 5th worst record in the league shouldn't we have the highest percentage at getting the 5th pick? So why are our chances at the 6th pick the highest? Also why do we have no chance at the 4th pick? That confuses me as well...
It's not so bad. No team is most likely to get any pick higher than 4th. It's just the way it works. The team with the worst record has a higher chance to get the top than other teams do, but the team is most likely to pick fourth. Consider a four-team lottery where people are ranked 1, 2, 3, 4 and the probability of having the first pick is 40% for team 1, 30% for team 2, 20% for team 2, 10% for team 4. You draw once, and the winner gets the first pick. After that, the picks are distributed in seed order. So the 1 ranked team (worst record) has a 40% chance of getting the top pick, 60% chance of the second. No chance at 3 or 4. Note well: the team's most likely outcome is not the top pick. The 2 ranked team has a 30% chance at the top pick, 40% chance of the second (this happens when the first team wins), and a 30% chance at the third (if a team behind them wins). This team's most likely outcome is also not the top pick. The 3 ranked team has a 20% chance at the top pick, 0% chance of the second (there's no way to move up to anything other than the top spot), 70% chance at the third pick, and a 10% chance of the fourth pick (the last team picks first in this case). This team's most likely outcome is not the first pick. The 4 ranked team has a 10% chance at the top pick, 90% chance at 4th, and no chance at others. Same deal. This also illustrates why the 5th team can't pick fourth: only the top 3 teams in the lottery are chosen randomly, then the rest are by seeding. Therefore, you can only move up to the spots that are drawn. So no team behind 4 in the lottery order can end up picking 4 or lower, until their lottery position. So 8 can pick 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11. Any team can fall up to 3 spots as a consequence of this, just like any team in my mini-lottery could fall a maximum of 1 spot.