(click to enlarge)
Get out your rosaries and rabbit's feet, compadres: it's that's time of year again. Needless to say, this year it's vertiginously high stakes — not just 'cos there's a unibrowed consensus stud waiting for the lucky SOB who plucks #1, but also because, as anyone who hasn't been living under a rock the past year knows, if the Ws end up with the #8 pick or worse, they have to cough it up to the Utah Jazz.
This year, instead of abstracting our chances to pie charts, I thought I'd try to lay out all 1,000 possible lottery outcomes, to give a more visceral sense of the kind of odds we're facing. As most of you probably know, the draft lottery does not involve ping pong balls with the various team logos on them; rather, four balls are drawn at random from a lot of fourteen balls numbered 1 to 14. This gives 1,001 combinations, one of which is thrown out (combo #11-12-13-14, for you draft lotto geeks), and the rest of which are assigned distinct draft scenarios. Where each of these scenarios leaves the Warriors — and/or the Jazz — is pictured in the chart above.
I have to say, gazing at the chart (beyond hurting my eyes) makes the palms sweat a bit. There are a disturbingly high number of blue frownies in that pile. It's too bad we weren't able to hammer out an agreement with the Jazz to turn all those blue frownies into green smileys (per MT2). On the bright side, the chart also gives a sense of how epic our victory in last month's coin toss was: had we lost the toss, all those green smileys would be blue. Moving back in time a bit, had we not managed to heroically choke away a 7-point lead with 2:35 left v. New Orleans, all those green smileys would be blue, and we'd have a bunch fewer reds, oranges, and yellows. Conversely, had we not gone and frittered away not one but two 20+ point deficits v. the Timberwolves, we could have all but banished the blue frownies and added a pile o' reds, oranges, and yellows.
Woulda coulda shoulda. We are where we are. For the sake of our collective sanity, it's probably best to assume we're going to get jobbed out of the pick and be pleasantly surprised if somehow the Hoops Gods / David Stern / Lady Luck decide otherwise. Tick tick tick...