The conference finals are set after Sunday’s Game 7 in Boston and Phoenix.
The Boston Celtics are heading to Miami to face the Miami Heat after dispatching the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon. And the Dallas Mavericks stunned the NBA by strangling the league’s best Phoenix Suns to set up a meeting with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
They will kick off Tuesday in Miami to kick off the NBA final four.
The other 26 teams are in full offseason mode now. All will have some presence in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine starting Monday. But the next big event in the NBA will happen just before the start of the Eastern Conference Finals.
It’s finally time for the Orlando Magic to have its moment in the sun. Or what they hope will be their moment in the sun.
The NBA Draft has finally arrived. The Orlando Magic will find out where they will pick in the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday. Fate is out of your hands now.
His offseason is finally about to get a clearer direction. All it will take is the right bounce of a ping pong ball and the right number combination to appear.
It’s finally time for the NBA Draft Lottery – which airs Tuesday at 8pm on ESPN.
The Magic finished with the second-worst record in the league, giving them the best odds of winning the Draft Lottery — shared with the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons. This will give the Magic a 14.0% chance of winning the NBA Draft and a 52.1% chance of being in the top four.
To sum it up even further, Orlando has a 13.4% chance of getting the second pick, 12.7% chance of getting the third pick, 11.9% chance of getting the fourth pick, 27.8% chance of getting fifth (your best odds) and a 20 percent chance of landing in sixth.
Yes, Orlando still has a one in five chance of having the worst result he could face and getting the sixth pick in the draft. It’s a very real possibility, even with the odds in Magic’s favor.
It is also always helpful to understand exactly how the Lottery works.
Tankathon has become a popular site for draft junkies with a simple interface to simulate the Lottery (we’ll lean on them later in the post). But pushing a button and having a computer randomly select the lottery winner based on the odds is not quite how the lottery actually works.
It is instructive to see the Lottery actually in action:
The Lottery process is a little different from pushing a button. Teams actually compete for a set of number combinations – this is why ranking position matters most.
The Lottery draw is actually a draw of four numbers from 1 to 14 to get a four number combination. The team with that four-number combination is the team that wins the lottery. This is how the Lottery really works. And for many teams, it’s literally the difference of a 2 or 3 coming out of the hopper last.
Things change very quickly in the lottery room.
Although the Magic has a lot of odds in its favor it will be sitting on pins and needles for the outcome.
Orlando had the best odds of winning the lottery last year and dropped to the fifth pick out of the lottery picks drawn. The Magic have not selected a Lottery-determined pick since picking Victor Oladipo in second place in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Orlando hasn’t improved his Lottery draft position since Chris Webber’s selection in the miraculous 1993 Lottery (the team traded the pick with the Golden State Warriors for the rights to Anfernee Hardaway).
It’s been a long time since Magic has experienced any luck in the Lottery. They should be happy to get any of the top four picks and consider it a lottery win.
Even in what is considered a somewhat weak draft class, the Magic could use a little luck to cement a few things up the roster and hopefully land a star player.
This is still all about chance. And while the odds might tip a bit in Magic’s favor, one spin can lead to some random outcomes.
To help illustrate this, we’ve posted a single Tankathon spin every day since the reuglar season ended over a month ago. The exercise is designed to show how the odds will even out over time, but also the randomness of taking a walk every day.
Our results (with an additional round on Monday and a final round on Tuesday):
1st – 5th
2nd – 6th
3rd – 2
4th – 7th
5 – 4
6 to 10
It took 15 days before we had our first #1 pick spin, with six #6 spins coming before it. The Magic got the first pick two days in a row.
In all, Magic won first pick five times in our 34-day experiment (to date). That’s 14.7 percent of the time. Magic’s odds of winning the lottery are 14%.
The most frequent choice we receive in the Lottery is the fourth choice seven times. But the most frequent pick overall is the worst result in sixth, achieving this 10 times. This is above the expected average of 20% to just over 29%.
The way odds like this work is that over time the odds will reach their average. But obviously with a smaller sample like 34 rounds, there will be some deviations. But it’s easy to see how everything is trending towards the Magic pick, where the odds tell them if you spin multiple times.
But the trick is, of course, that there’s only one spin that matters. There is only one draw that matters. And this is what happens on Tuesday, May 17, just before 8pm.
And in one spin, anything can happen.
Good or bad, the Magic believe they are in a position to get a solid draft pick in the end.
Fans, when asked who they would take, seem as split between the top three between Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren as the rest of the NBA. There are good arguments for all three.
After them, Shaedon Sharpe was getting the biggest buzz among Magic fans. The Kentucky guard who missed out on the year seems to have the star qualities that Magic fans seem to want in this draft.
After him came many answers for Bennedict Mathurin, Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray.
For Magic fans, there’s a clear top four favorite players. And the leap is that Tuesday will see the Magic in a position to get one of these players.
We’ll see if Magic agrees on June 23.
Of course, they need to see where they go first. And that remains an open question as the ping pong balls bounce.