Bucks Diary

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Am I missing something?


Sifting through all of the post lottery fallout, I keep reading newspaper accounts that insinuate that it was not only shocking to see the Bucks fall three spots, but that it was then a further shock to see that BOTH Memphis and Boston also fell. Even Larry Harris implies surprise at this double result. In today's JSonline.com, he is reported to have said that he was "not just shocked that we would fall three spots, but that Memphis and Boston would fall also."

Am I missing something here? If the first result occured (the Bucks dropping 3 spots), the latter result should not have been shocking at all. Am I right? The only possible way the Bucks could have fallen to the sixth spot is if BOTH Memphis and Boston also fell, thereby pushing the Bucks back three spots. If only one or the other or neither fell, then the Bucks could not have been pushed three spots. So as soon as the Bucks card was turned in the sixth spot, I knew instantly that both Memphis and Boston were both knocked out of the top three.

That so many knowledgable basketball people seem not to grasp that simple truth speaks volumes about how arcane the whole lottery process is. And that underlying confusion serves to mask the weakness of the system. The lottery is, as Meyer Lansky would say, a "sucker's bet", and I believe the only reason people can't appreciate that and change it is they really don't get how the process works.

Of course, had the Bucks won, I wouldn't have written any of that. And that's why this lottery, and lotteries in general, are so popular.

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