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News » A pretty sweet lottery simulation

A pretty sweet lottery simulation

A pretty sweet lottery simulation
The Oklahoman conducted its own draft lottery. There's one noticeable difference. We used jelly beans instead of ping pong balls.

While the draft lottery is more complicated than most realize, we simplified the process and taped it on video.

The draft lottery began in 1985 to prevent teams from intentionally losing to acquire the No. 1 pick.

Following some controversy the first few years of the lottery, the league implemented a weighted system in 1990 to give teams with the worst records a better opportunity to land the top three picks.

In 1994, league officials weighted the system even more, using ping pong balls that produce 1,001 different combinations.

The Oklahoman's draft lottery simulates what will transpire behind closed doors Tuesday night at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, N.J.

Sacramento, which finished with the league's worst record, was given 250 black licorice jelly beans, representative of the Kings' 250 chances for the No. 1 pick.

Washington was awarded 178 French vanilla jelly beans.

The Los Angeles Clippers received 177 red cinnamon jelly beans.

Sticking with team colors as best we could, the Thunder's 119 jelly beans were sky blue - berry flavored for jelly bean aficionados.

Next on the list was Minnesota with 78 green apple jelly beans and the Grizzlies with 75 blueberry jelly beans.

All other lottery teams were awarded their appropriate number of jelly beans all the way down to the Phoenix Suns receiving a paltry five grape jelly beans. All 1,001 sugar candies were tossed into a bowl and mixed.

Similar to the random ping pong method that will be used Tuesday night, The Oklahoman blindly selected one jelly bean and placed it in envelope No. 1, representative of the team that will be awarded the No. 1 pick, presumably to select OU star Blake Griffin.

We then selected a second jelly bean for envelope No. 2 to determine the team with the second selection and drew a third jelly bean for the No. 3 overall pick.

Similar to the drama that will be televised Tuesday night on ESPN, The Oklahoman revealed the Draft Lottery order. Phoenix finished 14th as expected.

Did the Thunder beat long odds? Was their berry flavored jelly bean drawn No. 1? Or did Oklahoma City get stuck with the No. 5 or No. 6 pick, which is what the odds indicate most likely will happen?

Cavaliers' attitude

The Cavaliers became only the fourth team to sweep their first two playoff series since the NBA switched to four rounds of expanded playoffs 25 years ago. Cleveland can join the 2000-01 Lakers as the only team to reach the NBA Finals without losing a game in the conference playoffs.

Los Angeles went 11-0 in the Western Conference playoffs eight years ago. The Lakers' only playoff loss was in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against Philadelphia.

Three other teams the past 25 years have finished the playoffs with only two playoff losses. The 1998-99 Spurs lost Game 2 to Minnesota in the opening round and reeled off 12 consecutive playoff wins before losing Game 3 in the NBA Finals to the Knicks.

Michael Jordan-led Bulls teams only once won a title with two playoff losses. In 1990-91, Chicago lost Game 3 in the Eastern Conference finals to Philadelphia and lost Game 1 in the NBA Finals to the Lakers.

Two decades ago, the 1988-89 Pistons, coached by Chuck Daly, who died last weekend, lost only two playoff games, both in the Eastern Conference finals to Chicago. Detroit swept the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Year Team W-L 2000-01 Lakers 15-1 1998-99 Spurs 15-2 1990-91 Bulls 15-2 1988-89 Pistons 15-2 1995-96 Bulls 15-3 1986-87 Lakers 15-3 1985-86 Celtics 15-3


Van Gundy is safe

→Despite blowing fourth-quarter leads against Boston, and his star player criticizing him, Stan Van Gundy is not in jeopardy of being fired, according to Magic general manager Otis Smith.

→Houston's Luis Scola repeatedly getting the best of Pau Gasol has some in the Lakers organization wondering if Gasol will pick up his game. His inconsistent play in the series raises doubts whether L.A. can win a title.

→Miami can't begin negotiating a contract extension with Dwyane Wade until July 12, when his original three-year contract anniversary arrives. It could hamper the Heat since free-agent signings start July 8.

→Former Pistons star Dave Bing won a special run-off election earlier this month to become mayor of Detroit. Bing, 65, faces a huge challenge in a city that has an estimated budget deficit of $300 million.

→TV analyst Doug Collins, the former Bulls, Pistons and Wizards coach, has interest in the Philadelphia vacancy, but it's uncertain if the Sixers are interested in Collins.

→Coach of the Year Mike Brown on when his red-hot Cavs finally "got it": "We're still trying to figure it out. The only ring on my finger is my wedding ring."

Wayne Simien, the former Kansas star who was a first-round draft pick in 2005, has decided to retire due to injuries. Simien will return to Lawrence to pursue a career in religion (ministry).

→Kings president Geoff Petrie seems more concerned about saving money than hiring a top level coach. Paul Westphal is one of the top candidates. Avery Johnson reportedly is not a candidate.


NBA 2020

Thunder players and other NBA players, coaches and executives each week address an NBA topic. This week's subject is the NBA in 2020.

Kobe Bryant: I won't be in it

David West: in Europe

Scott Brooks: five point guards

Nick Collison: hope it's still around

Kevin Durant: same as today

Chucky Atkins: will be incredible

Derek Fisher: world's No. 1 sport

Desmond Mason: team on Mars

Malik Rose: 12-foot rims

Danny Granger: in China

Jason Kidd: hope it's still around

Carlos Boozer: international

Greg Oden: hope I'm still playing

Mark Cuban: a Mavs- Thunder Western finals

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 20, 2009


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