Cursed? In the lottery, Celts have had it better than some others

Cursed? In the lottery, Celts have had it better than some others

The Celtics are the favorites to get the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NBA draft lottery.

If history says anything, they probably won’t win. 

Or if, you know, probability says anything, they probably won’t win. 

There’s a feeling among Celtics followers that the team is cursed when it comes to the lottery. After all, every time they’ve had a realistic shot at the top pick in the draft since ping-pong balls came into play in 1990, they’ve been disappointed. They only time they’ve moved up came in the old envelope system, and that’s when a pick they owned from Seattle moved up three spots to No. 2. They used it to select Len Bias and he died before he played an NBA game, so that doesn’t exactly make the C’s luck look any better. 

In the ping-pong ball era, there have been 27 draft lotteries. The winning combination came from a team with top-five odds 20 times. To hope to come away with the first overall pick with anything less than top-five odds is wishful thinking, so for the sake of looking at the Celtics’ luck, let’s look at the instances in which they did have top-five chances (all lottery history per Real GM): 

2016 (from Brooklyn): Stayed at No. 3
2014: Dropped from No. 5 to No. 6
2007: Dropped from No. 2 to No. 5
1997: Dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 

There’s no way of spinning that as good, but, for as disappointing as the team’s fortune has been, it’s not like it should be a surprise. The Celtics, who also had Dallas’ pick in the 1997 draft and therefore had a 36 percent chance of getting the top pick, were still unlikely to win the right to Tim Duncan. And they didn’t. 

The equally heartbreaking -- albeit with a far shorter-lived heartbreak -- was the 2007 lottery, which saw the C’s go from Kevin Durant to a pre-draft trade for Ray Allen. 

But do the Celtics really stand out as a team with that awful of lottery luck? Here, yes. Throughout the league, though,  there’s similar . . . and certainly worse. 

-- The C’s don’t come close to the misfortune the Timberwolves have experienced. Per Real GM, the Timberwolves have been slotted for a top-three pick eight times. They moved down in six of those occurrences by a total of 11 spots, including twice when they had the best chances for the top pick and dropped down.

-- Then there’s the Kings. Since 1990, they’ve been in position for a top-five six times (and top-six 10 times) and have never moved up. Overall, they’ve lost 14 spots.  In the only year they Kings were in line for the top pick, 2009, they dropped three spots to No. 4.

-- The Grizzlies have been in line for the No. 1 overall pick four times and have dropped down each time: Two spots in 1996, three spots in 1997, one spot in 1999 and three spots in 2007.

--The Nuggets have moved down in each of the four years they’ve been slotted for a top-five pick. In each of the two years they had the best odds for No. 1, they moved down multiple spots (three in ’91 and two in ’98). They even lost in 2003, going from second to third, but their luck came with Darko Milicic going second to Detroit so they could get Carmelo Anthony. 

-- Dallas has four times been slotted top-five and moved down in all four, including twice in back-to-back years when they had the best odds and still picked fourth and second (1993 and ’94, respectively). 

Of these teams, the Mavericks and the Celtics are the only ones to win a championship despite not exactly cleaning up in the lottery. That’s been more a result of great players like Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki falling in the 1998 draft. 

Though they had better odds in 1997, this will be the first time the Celtics will have entered the draft lottery owning the pick with the highest odds (25 percent). If they lose, it will be the latest lottery disappointment they’ve experienced. Yet other teams with far fewer banners have certainly shared that misfortune.

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

AP Photo

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

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Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.