The graph above was done by Sleepy Freud of the Warriors blog Golden State of Mind, and it displays visually the Nets chances at the different picks (every lottery team is done over at the blog). As you can see, there are only four colors represented on the Nets’ chart, meaning that the worst the Nets can do is the 4th overall pick. The Nets really need the number one pick though. It isn’t because of John Wall though, sure he is a fantastic player, but in all honesty I’d be happy with any of the players rumored to be in the top 4. The reason the Nets need to win the draft lottery is that they need to keep this “momentum train” rolling.
Think about it. The Nets are coming off one of the worst seasons in NBA history. They had an owner who was more focused on making money than winning and it showed. Two years ago, the Nets just missed the playoffs and instead of retooling they decided to strip everything down. They kept a coach who was in “lame duck” status because they didn’t want to pay two coaches at once and when they eventually got rid of Lawrence Frank they filled the position internally with Kiki Vandeweghe. After all of this, the Nets finished with just 12 wins.
That all seems light years away, as things really has started going the Nets’ way. First and foremost, Mikhail Prokhorov has taken over and he means business. The Nets have a young core with some great players (Brook Lopez, Terrence Williams, and Devin Harris), and the Cleveland Cavs choked in the playoffs prompting rumors of LeBron leaving.
If the Nets win the draft lottery, the good mojo continues and this new feeling that Nets’ fan have (I think it is called hope) keeps going. If the Nets lose, it is just the other shoe dropping, something Nets’ fans are used to. Win 2 Eastern Conference championships, get smoked in the finals twice. Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, and Richard Jefferson made for the most exciting triple-threat in the NBA, couldn’t really do much in the playoffs. I (and most likely other Nets’ fans) have been conditioned to wait for that other shoe to drop during Bruce Ratner’s reign as Nets’ owner.. I think winning the lottery is what will help Nets’ fans finally close the book on the Bruce Ratner era for good and confidently start the Mikhail Prokhorov off on the right foot, optimistically.