NBA Draft Lottery
In 2012, the NBA Draft Lottery worked to perfection.
The NBA has been criticized in the past because many of its teams allegedly give less than their best down the stretch to improve their chances of winning the draft lottery. This is the very reason why the NBA instituted the draft lottery. Having the worst record is no longer a guarantor of obtaining the top pick in the NBA Draft.
New Orleans Hornets win 2012 draft lottery
Needless to say, as a New Orleans Hornets fan, I am ecstatic right now that my team has won the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery. I even wrote a tongue-in-cheek article yesterday (referenced below) on how Hornets' fans could help New Orleans win the draft lottery. I guess some of my fellow New Orleans Hornets' fans took my lottery advice!
But seriously, the reason for my belief that the right team won the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery has nothing to do with my allegiance to the Hornets. As a fan who either attended or watched every Hornets' game down the stretch, I know for a fact that New Orleans played hard in every game and never worried about ping pong balls in the draft lottery.
Yes, the Hornets were tied for the third worst record in the NBA in 2011-12. However, their 21-45 record can be attributed to Eric Gordon's knee injury. How do I know this? Gordon only played in nine games with New Orleans, but the Hornets were 6-3 with their star on the court.
I also researched this stat during the season and it remained true to the end. The Hornets were one of only nine NBA teams that did not lose a game by more than 25 points. Other 2012 NBA Draft Lottery hopefuls such as the Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards lost 14, six and four such games, respectively.
Once it becomes apparent that a certain team won't be competing for a playoff berth, that's often when their quality of play experiences a sudden, curious decline. However, New Orleans was 8-6 in April of 2012.
For playing hard in every game, especially down the stretch, the New Orleans Hornets deserved to win the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in the New Orleans Arena the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
ESPN NBA Draft Lottery coverage on May 30, 2012
"Basketball Reference," basketball-reference.com
"Team Game Finder," basketball-reference.com
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