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Thread: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

  1. #1
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    A few factoids on the lottery:

    This, you pretty much already know, but here are the odds by team and draft position for tonight's lottery:

    Exhibit: Odds by Draft Position


    The History - The first lottery was held in 1985 among the 7 teams that did not make the playoffs. Each team had one chance in 7 of being the #1 pick, and the winner of that first lottery was, famously, the New York Knicks, who selected Patrick Ewing. All 7 positions were drawn for ranking.

    The same procedure was followed in 1986, but some complaints arose about inequities. In 1985, Indiana and Golden State had finished tied for the worst record in the league. The Pacers picked 2nd, but Golden State picked 7th. In 1986, the Knicks posted the league's worst record but did not pick until 5th.

    In 1987, the league changed to picking only the top three, thus guaranteeing for the first time that the team with the worst record would pick no worse than 4th. However, each team still had an equal chance at the top three. The team with the worst record still finished out of the money in two of the three years under this system.

    In 1990, the league began weighting the chances of teams (while still picking only the top three), with the worst record of the then-11 lottery teams getting 11 lottery balls and the best record getting just one. Therefore, the team with the worst record had a one in six chance, while the team with the best record had a 1 in 66 chance.

    This lasted until 1993, when Orlando scored their second straight #1 pick despite having only one ping pong ball in the hopper. Eyebrows were raised as the league's newest superstar, Shaquille O'Neal, was the beneficiary of a lottery day miracle. The following year, the league moved to the current system using 1000 combinations. The worst record now has a 1 in 4 chance of picking #1, while the best record's chances have dropped to 1 in 200.

    The Results - There have been 15 lotteries conducted under more or less the current system (with expansion increasing the number of teams in 1995 and 2005).

    The number one pick has gone to the worst record only twice during that time: 2003 (James to Cleveland) and 2004 (Howard to Orlando). Including those two teams, it has gone to "bottom three" teams eight times, or about 53% of the time. The team with the longest odds to win it was Chicago last year, who had a 1 in 59 shot (still better odds than the Orlando win in 1993). Prior to that, New Jersey's 2000 win was the longest shot at about 1 in 23.

    The "bottom three" have ended up with the top three picks (in any order) only once, in 1996. The 2007 draft was the only draft in which none of the "bottom three" were drawn for the top three picks.

    The Pacers have been in the lottery three times under this system: 1997, 2007, and 2008. There name was not drawn on any of those occasions. They used the 12th pick in 1997 to select Austin Croshere. The 11th pick in 2007 was used by Atlanta, who selected Acie Law, to complete the Al Harrington trade. The 11th pick in 2008 was used to select Jerryd Bayless, who was then traded along with Ike Diogu to Portland for Brandon Rush (the #13 pick), Jarrett Jack, and Josh McRoberts.

    The Odds (and Ends)

    If your team has the worst record, they are most likely to pick 4th. (While the team with the worst record has the best odds at getting #1, it is only a 25% chance, while the chances of them picking 4th (worst case scenario) is actually 36%.

    It does not become more likely than not that your record rank will be the same as your draft position until 7th, when it is a 60% chance that the 7th worst record will pick 7th. This is also the rank where it becomes your most likely draft position.

    It is more likely that you will draft worse than your position than better up until the 12th pick. Good news for the Pacers because it is more likely that they will pick in the top three (1 in 45) than 14th (1 in 55). (However, they still have a 24 in 25 chance of picking 13th.)

    The odds of the bottom three records getting the top three picks, in any order, are about 1 in 6, while the odds of none of them getting the top three are about 1 in 570.

    Edit - The section between the quotes has bad math

    The odds of the draft order going in exactly the order listed in the Exhibit above are about 1 in 51,000. In a generic year, with no ties, it gets a little higher at about 1 in 49,000.

    Reverse order according to record is not the most likely order. In fact, the most likely order for this year's draft is:

    Washington
    LA Clippers
    Minnesota
    Sacramento
    Oklahoma City
    Memphis
    Golden State
    New York
    Toronto
    Milwaukee
    New Jersey
    Charlotte
    Indiana
    Phoenix

    At about 1 in 26,000 chances. In a generic year (no ties), the most likely order is (records, worst to best):

    2, 3, 5, 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

    I didn't go back very far, and these numbers are just a little (tiny bit) off, but the odds for the orders from the last four drafts:

    2004 - 1 in 74,000
    2005 - 1 in 139,000
    2006 - 1 in 5.6 million (none of the bottom three in the top three)
    2007 - 1 in 5.3 million (Chicago nabbing the #1)
    So, there are two morals to this story:

    1. Whatever you think will happen tonight, odds are, it won't.

    2. I really shouldn't be allowed access to the internet and Excel/Access at the same time.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by count55; 05-19-2009 at 05:13 PM. Reason: I hate probabilities and permutations. (or is it or?)

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  3. #2
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    One little tiny nit-pick. When using the "1 in XXX" method, it's is preferred to use the term "chances".

    If the chances are 1 in 10, the odds would be 1:9.

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Count when I learned Access freshman year of college I always wondered when I would need to use it. Now I know.

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  5. #4
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    One little tiny nit-pick. When using the "1 in XXX" method, it's is preferred to use the term "chances".

    If the chances are 1 in 10, the odds would be 1:9.

    Hmmm...I even switched in mid-post...

    What are ****ing odds of that?

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    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Holy crap. I had no idea how crazily some of this stuff was weighted. That was awesome.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

  7. #6
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Hmmm...I even switched in mid-post...

    What are ****ing odds of that?
    Even money.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

  8. #7

    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    I made this argument on RealGM. I know that Stern doesn't rig the lottery, but if he did we would be a prime candidate to give a top 3 pick to.

    Right now we are in financial trouble. Well, we aren't a free agent signing team, so obviously the thing that would generate the most buzz and possible ticket sales here in Indy is to have the Pacers end up with a top 3 prospect.

    That would sell a lot of tickets considering we haven't had a top 3 pick in what 20 years?...

  9. #8
    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    So what you're saying is that there is a chance...

    2.2% - Nice

  10. #9
    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Hmmm...I even switched in mid-post...

    What are ****ing odds of that?
    "One in a million chances crop up nine times out of ten." - Terry Pratchett
    BillS

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    MIP for 2013-2014 season docpaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    So what you're saying is that there is a chance...

    2.2% - Nice


    This town would go nuts if luck went our way tonight.

  12. #11
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    "One in a million chances crop up nine times out of ten." - Terry Pratchett
    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stoppard
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    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Bet?

    Heads I win.

    Again...

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Heads.

    Whoops!

    It must be indicative of something
    besides the redistribution of wealth.

    Heads.

    A weaker man might be moved
    to re-examine his faith,

    for nothing else at least
    in the law of probability...

    Heads.

    Consider.

    One,

    probability is a factor which
    operates within natural forces.

    Two, probability is not
    operating as a factor.

    Three, we are now held within um...

    sub or supernatural forces.

    Discuss!
    What?

    Look at it this way.
    If six monkeys...

    If six monkeys...

    The law of averages,
    if I have got this right means...

    that if six monkeys were thrown
    up in the air long enough...

    they would land on their tails
    about as often as they would
    land on their...

    Heads, getting a bit of
    a bore, isn't it?

    A bore?
    Well...

    What about the suspense?

    What suspense?

    It must be the law
    of diminishing returns.

    I still spell about to be broken.

    Well, it was an even chance.

    Seventy eight in a row.
    A new record, I imagine.

    Is that what you imagine?
    A new record?

    No questions?
    Not a flicker of doubt?

    I could be wrong.

    No fear?
    Fear?

    Fear!

    Seventy nine.

    I think I have it.
    Time has stopped dead.

    The single experience of one coin
    being spun once has been repeated.

    A hundred and fifty six times.

    On the whole, doubtful.

    Or, a spectacular vindication
    of the principle.

    That each individual
    coin spun individually is...

    as likely to come down
    heads as tails

    and therefore should cause no
    surprise each individual time it does.

    Heads...
    I've never known anything like it.

    He has never known
    anything like it.

    But he has never known
    anything to write home about.

  13. #12
    Banned Jonathan's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    I would love if I turned on the tube tonight and saw Buster Douglas representing the Pacers.

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Wait, so the draft lottery is tonight? Man, I'm really slipping. I thought it was the 24th or something.

    Checks online.... Yep it's tonight. Cool. Here's hoping the Pacers finally get the number one pick.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    At about 1 in 26,000 chances. In a generic year (no ties), the most likely order is (records, worst to best):

    2, 3, 5, 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

    How does that work out? I'm no statistics expert, but the way I see it:

    %chance of 1, 2, 3:

    250 / 1000 * 178 / (1000 - 250) * 177 / (1000-250-178) * 100 = 1.836%

    %chance of 2, 3, 5:

    178 / 1000 * 177 / (1000 - 178) * 76 / (1000 - 178 - 177) * 100 = 0.452%

  16. #15
    Inspiration Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    I think a lot of you are going to be horribly disappointed this evening.
    "I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right."

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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    I'm not having my hopes high on Adam Silver announcing us picking lower than 13.

  18. #17
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyMurphy3 View Post
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    I'm not having my hopes high on Adam Silver announcing us picking lower than 13.
    We can only go down one spot and in a draft this flat in talent, there little to no difference between the 13th and 14th pick. Let the Suns rain on our day, it will only be a drizzle and we'll live.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    We can only go down one spot and in a draft this flat in talent, there little to no difference between the 13th and 14th pick. Let the Suns rain on our day, it will only be a drizzle and we'll live.
    I meant to say a higher pick in the draft.

  20. #19
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Quote Originally Posted by binarysolo View Post
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    How does that work out? I'm no statistics expert, but the way I see it:

    %chance of 1, 2, 3:

    250 / 1000 * 178 / (1000 - 250) * 177 / (1000-250-178) * 100 = 1.836%

    %chance of 2, 3, 5:

    178 / 1000 * 177 / (1000 - 178) * 76 / (1000 - 178 - 177) * 100 = 0.452%
    Yeah...now that you mention it, this is probably wrong.

    Basically, I was operating under the premise that the most likely outcome for the worst record was 4th, then I chained based on the most likely available outcome for all of the other picks, ignoring the fact that there would reach a point in time where the outcome for the remaining picks would become 100%.

    In other words, I mistakenly started with where it was most likely for the worst record to pick, rather than who was most likely to get the first pick.

    This means that the draft order odds from 2004 through 2007 are probably incorrect. I probably didn't appropriately factor in the fact that one result precludes other results, altering the odds.

    But, then, I only took one statistics class in college, it was in summer session, and the teacher was a student teacher whose *** I kicked in flag football a couple of years earlier. And when I say I kicked his ***, I mean he clotheslined a friend of mine, and I knocked three of his teeth out.

    It was not a productive class.
    Last edited by count55; 05-19-2009 at 05:10 PM.

  21. #20

    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    Nice review, Count; thanks!

    If we don't land the #1 pick, I'm sort of hoping Minnesota (where I used to live) or the Clippers get it. Why? Because they're two teams who already are pretty well set at PF ... so if they do pick first, we'll be seeing an interesting trade by draft night. Chris Kaman, anyone?

    (I'm not sure what the TWolves would do with the #1. I suppose they'd take Griffin and keep everyone long enough to try things out -- at least to make sure Al Jefferson is healthy again -- but Thabeet would fit their roster really well. They could trade down to #3 ... plus, they've got #18 and #28 as well.... Whooo-wee! Glen Taylor's new GM could be ready for some wheelin' & dealin'!)

  22. #21
    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a Draft Pick Get Ya? (Sidebar # 2 - Ping Pong Balls)

    What time is it supposed to be?
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

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