Why lose every game you can and still end up only with a top 7 pick?
I think the disconnect is that I seem to be one of the few people who still believes that the guy bringing his kid to a game at the end of the season wants to see the Pacers win. It's as if I am outnumbered by people who really think either that no one is bringing their kids to the game (or coming for a good time for themselves) or that everyone who comes to the games is cheering for the team to lose because it is fun to hope for a draft pick.
If you get 10 people who really enjoyed (say) the home win over the Bulls, then when things start to pick up they will be the first ones in line with their friends/family to get tickets for the better times. If their time stunk, they'll need to be shown a lot more.
Hard work at home with people in the stands is worth more than a few extra hundredths of a percentage point of dreams. Otherwise we'd all be better off rattling paper cups for change and buying Hoosier Lottery scratch-offs.