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  1. #1

    The NBA Draft

    Lottery looms large for NBA teams in need of talent
    abs-cbnnews.com



    NEW YORK (AFP) - The National Basketball Association's biggest losers will have a chance to reverse their fortunes on Tuesday if they can pull off a triumph in the 14-team NBA Draft Lottery.

    The Memphis Grizzlies, who finished a league-worst 22-60 this season, have the best odds of claiming the top pick, a 1-in-4 chance. The lottery decides who has the top three choices with picks 4-14 going in inverse order of record.

    Since 1985, NBA clubs failing to reach the playoffs have all had a chance at claiming the number one choice in June's NBA Draft, the free agent entry system that allows weaker clubs the first chance at top US college and global talent.

    This year, the top prizes are especially important with Ohio State big man Greg Oden and flashy Texas playmaker Kevin Durant among 58 underclassmen players leaving the US college ranks along with a solid senior class.

    Most scouts have 7-footer Oden slotted for the top pick with Durant possibly working better for certain teams when player selections are made in the NBA Draft on June 28.

    And while a third consecutive top pick from the international ranks is unlikely - Italy's Andrea Bargnani went to Toronto last year and Australian Andrew Bogut went to Milwaukee in 2005 - there are several new global hopefuls.

    After Memphis, the Boston Celtics have the best chance at landing the top pick, 19.9 percent, with Milwaukee next at 15.6 percent, Atlanta fourth at 11.9 percent and Seattle fifth with an 8.8 percent hope.

    Portland and Minnesota each have a 5.3 percent chance while Chicago and New York have 1.9 percent odds, Sacramento 1.8 percent and Indiana, Philadelphia, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Clippers having less than a 1 percent hope.

    A total of 1,000 table tennis balls are placed in a bin and drawn out to decide the top spots. The Clippers have only five balls in the tub.

    Under the system, a team will select no worse than three positions below where it finished in the final overall regular-season order. Thus Memphis will pick no worse than fourth and would be unusually unlucky to fare that badly.

    Oden guided Ohio State into the US college final, where the Buckeyes lost to repeat champion Florida. He likely would have been the 2006 top pick but a new NBA rule last year prevented players from jumping from high school to the NBA.

    Oden, 19, averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds last season and had 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in the final against a Florida team led by likely lottery picks Al Horford and Joakim Noah, the son of French tennis star Yannick Noah.

    Durant led Texas to a 25-10 record, averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots.

    Some critics wondered if bottom teams were playing less than their best in order to enhance their chances at landing the top pick, prompting some within the NBA to consider reverting to the equal-chance system used in 1985 and 1986.

    "We have had discussions on this subject over the years with the Board of Governors and I think this will be an issue that will be reraised before the board," NBA president of basketball operations Joel Litvin said.
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  2. #2

    Re: The NBA Draft

    And the biggest losers remain as they are: biggest losers.

    Portland, which hit the jackpot last year in ROY Brandon Roy, overcame odds and got the first pick. Seattle got second, Atlanta third. Memphis and Boston never benefited from the lottery and followed at fourth and fifth, respectively, thanks to their win-loss record.

    So much for their hopes for franchise altering players. Back to the drawing board.* :P


    We are not a nation of donkeys, we are a nation of Lions!

  3. #3

    Re: The NBA Draft

    Karma for Boston, Memphis and Milwuakee for tanking games.

    Given the outcome of the draft, West teams can just get anything but better. Oden and Durant are sure bound to West teams.
    "I got a goal, and it's a huge goal, and that's to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland. And I won't stop until I get it." - LeBron James

    The very next NBA season Lebron changed uniform..... Bading!

  4. #4

    Re: The NBA Draft

    Next year, Portland will have Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and (if he doesn't get traded) Zach Randolph as their young bigs. In a few years time, that's going to be a scary team to go along with Brandon Roy, Sergio Rodriguez, Webster, and the other young players.

    Seattle is also blessed, as they now have a Kevin Durant to play along with Rey Allen. But, that team still has some missing pieces to fill before they can be a contender, especially in the tough Western conference.

    The balance of power in the East still remains the same, as the 2 franchise players are heading west. The intrigue in the draft will start at #3, with Atlanta on the clock. Possible candidates for them are Brendan Wright of North Carolina, and the 2 Florida bigs in Horford and Noah. They could also trade down, and try to get the Ohio State PG Mike Conley, and maybe add another player too.

  5. #5

    Re: The NBA Draft

    The Celtics sent former star and current broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn to the lottery hoping that his presence would help Boston in landing one of the top two spots.

    "They brought me down because they thought I was lucky. Now they know," Heinsohn said. "I paid off the leprechaun this morning and the sucker lied to me." :D

    Give him a “Tommy Point” for that.* ;D
    We are not a nation of donkeys, we are a nation of Lions!

  6. #6

    Re: The NBA Draft

    Blazers get surprise first pick in NBA draft
    abs-cbnnews.com

    NEW YORK (AFP) - The Portland Trail Blazers won the right to select the first pick in the 2007 National Basketball Association entry draft.

    The Trail Blazers had just a 5.3 percent of getting the No. 1 pick and are possibly looking at selecting the high touted Greg Oden in next month's draft.

    The Blazers sent 2006-2007 Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy to the draft as their team representative, and the young shooting guard had a big smile on his face at the prospect of adding college basketball's best center to his team.

    "I hope I brought them some luck," Roy said. "This is huge for our franchise. There are so many players who would be great for us."

    The second pick went to the Seattle Supersonics, who likely will select Texas forward Kevin Durant. The consensus college Player of the Year last season, Durant likely will replace All-Star Rashard Lewis, who can opt-out of his contract this summer.

    The Atlanta Hawks will have the third pick. In a stunning turn of events, the Hawks now will have two picks in the lottery (along with Indiana's pick at No. 11).

    Had Atlanta landed outside of the top three, Phoenix would have taken their pick as part of the Joe Johnson trade.

    Indiana would have held on to their pick had it been in the top three, but will send it now to the Hawks as part of last summer's Al Harrington trade.

    The Memphis Grizzlies, who had the best shot at winning the lottery (25 percent) after finishing with the league's worst record, had to settle for the fourth pick.

    The Boston Celtics, who had the second-best chance to win the top pick, round out the top five.

    The Grizzlies and Celtics were guaranteed no worse than the fourth and fifth picks, respectively, in the draft because they finished with the two worst records.
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  7. #7

    Re: The NBA Draft

    I doubt that the Celtics were taking games to ensure they got better chances at the top two lottery picks. The injuries to their franchise player, Paul Pierce, and Wally Szcerbiak during mid-season did them in for the season. And they were too far back from a playoff spot like the Memphis Grizzlies. Portland and Seattle were still within contention the final two weeks for playoff spots so they should be more prime suspects for tanking games. True the Celtics did not suit up Pierce for the final games of this season but they did it to protect their franchise player from further injuries and further aggravate the team's fortunes (or should I say misfortunes).

    That's the problem with the NBA, and David Stern in particular. They fine-tune their policies too much that it further aggravates the problem they intend to solve. In the particular case, the West teams may become so much stronger vis-a-vis the East teams. Because of the inflexible bench-leaving policy which led to the suspension of key Phoenix Suns players Stoudamire and Diaw, the fans (and the league) were deprived of a potential Game 7 which would certainly have much higher TV ratings than, let's say, a San Antonio-Detroit NBA finale.

    As a Celtic fan, I am terribly disappointed they missed out on another chance to get a potential franchise player to turn around the team's fortunes. Remember they missed out in getting the rights to Tim Duncan despite having three high first round picks losing out to San Antonio who already had David Robinson who just happened to miss out that season to injury and fortunately not making the playoffs to be eligible for the lottery picks. I'm just hoping their fifth pick is high enough to get a player which can lead them back to the road to respectability at least (Georgetown's Hibbert perhaps?).

    I guess the Leprechaun and the Bambino with his Curse have decided to trade places in Shawmut Center and Fenway Park. I'm just trying to rationalize the Celtics' misfortunes.




  8. #8

    Re: The NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Raging Blue
    As a Celtic fan, I am terribly disappointed they missed out on another chance to get a potential franchise player to turn around the team's fortunes. Remember they missed out in getting the rights to Tim Duncan despite having three high first round picks losing out to San Antonio who already had David Robinson who just happened to miss out that season to injury and fortunately not making the playoffs to be eligible for the lottery picks. I'm just hoping their fifth pick is high enough to get a player which can lead them back to the road to respectability at least (Georgetown's Hibbert perhaps?).

    I guess the Leprechaun and the Bambino with his Curse have decided to trade places in Shawmut Center and Fenway Park. I'm just trying to rationalize the Celtics' misfortunes.
    I'm too upset to think about it :'(

  9. #9

    Re: The NBA Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostrider
    Quote Originally Posted by Raging Blue
    As a Celtic fan, I am terribly disappointed they missed out on another chance to get a potential franchise player to turn around the team's fortunes.

    I guess the Leprechaun and the Bambino with his Curse have decided to trade places in Shawmut Center and Fenway Park. I'm just trying to rationalize the Celtics' misfortunes.
    I'm too upset to think about it* :'(
    Some things just simply defy logic. :P

    Misery loooves company. Have been a Celtic fan since the Russell days, loved the Cowens and Bird Eras and endured the Pitino years.

    By missing out on the top two picks, Boston may just only be good enough to be playoff fodder with the deep talent pool this year after Oden and Durant.

    Or maybe they could just tickle conspiracy theorists and schedule a date at Secasus again next year. :P
    We are not a nation of donkeys, we are a nation of Lions!

  10. #10
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    Re: The NBA Draft

    Hmm.... Kevin Durant somewhat patterned his style after Rashard Lewis.

    Rashard has an opt-out clause.... will he do so....

    The Northwest Division is going to be tough for the next 10 years... Good luck Denver, Minnesota, and Utah.

    Hawks at #3: will they reach for Mike Conley, jr? or will he fall to #11?

    As for my Clippers... i would be happy with a shooter at the guard spot. A Nick Young or a Acie Law IV would be ok.

    Mock Drafts, anyone?

    P.S. i actually saw some hypothetical trades involving Seattle and Portland.
    Defining John Paul is an exercise in futility...


 
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