The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on ESPN. The lottery is the time when fans of really bad teams put their hopes and dreams of franchise turnaround into the mythical powers of ping pong balls and long odds.
The NBA Draft Lottery is a complicated process requiring a deep understanding of the dark arts of mathematics. Since most sports fans don't follow "math", we will try and explain things as simply as possible.
The team with worst record gets the most chances to win and then in reverse order based on record each team has fewer and fewer chances. The Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that understands the lottery process in great detail, had the worst record in the 2010-11 NBA Season. Their 17-65 record buys them a 25 percent chance at getting the number one overall pick and a 64 percent chance at getting a top three pick.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, the team with the second-worst record, have 20 percent chance at the first pick and a 56 percent chance at a top three pick.
On the other end of the scale, the Phoenix Suns have just a 0.6 percent at the top pick and a 2.2 percent chance at getting a top three pick. If the Suns number isn't pulled they end up with the 13th pick in the 2011 Draft and hopefully get a decent role player.
NBA fans, get your good luck charms out and start rubbing them now. The odds are long, but history shows several teams that have beat those odds. The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery will be live on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. Arizona time on Tuesday.