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Considering the Celtics own the Nets' lottery pick (No. 3), and the Mavericks' first-round choice (No. 16) as well, Boston's selection in Round 1 (No. 23) has become a bit of an afterthought this year.  That's probably a good thing, because if C's fans were more concerned with the club's own pick they'd likely be fuming mad at how royally screwed the Celtics got by ending up at No. 23 instead of No. 22 (although they also have No. 16 instead of No. 17 for the same reason--more on that in a bit).  Here's why:

When Boston finished in a four-way tie for 3rd-6th in the East, an illogical tie-breaking system relegated the C's to fifth in the conference.  Once that had been decided, why wouldn't the league also use that to determine the draft order?  If you lose the tiebreaker and get a worse playoff seed, doesn't it clearly make sense that you should at least benefit by getting the coinciding higher draft pick?

But for some bizarre reason, that isn't the case.  The league conducted a four-way coin flip in which the Celtics finished third, giving them the 23rd pick instead of the 22nd that their playoff seeding would've dictated (the same thing happened with Dallas and Memphis out west, with the Mavs getting the better seed and winning the coin flip, so in reality Boston benefited in the long run).

I'm not saying the league should eliminate coin flips in regards to draft order.  It makes sense for clubs in the lottery and between teams from opposite conferences.  But if you've already created a tie-breaking method to determine playoff seeding within a conference, it seems absurd to then abandon it for the draft.

And here's the really crazy part--in some cases the playoff tiebreakers actually would determine the draft order.  If the Celtics, Heat, Hawks and Hornets had landed in the 7-10 spots instead of 3-6, two squads would've ended up in the postseason and the other two in the lottery.  Obviously the NBA couldn't do a coin flip for draft position between playoff teams and lotto teams, so in that case the postseason tiebreakers would stipulate draft order.  It's ridiculous that this isn't the case all the time.



Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan


Mark Van Deusen 6/21/2016 01:34:00 PM Edit
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