5 Initial thoughts on the Detroit Pistons dropping to 5th again

Atlanta Hawks wins the NBA draft lottery...
Atlanta Hawks wins the NBA draft lottery... / Anadolu/GettyImages
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If you are a fan of the Detroit Pistons and your favorite number is five, I have some good news for you! The Pistons will have the 5th selection for the third year in a row and for the second straight year after having the worst record in the league. 

My first thoughts are not fit to print, so I will leave them in the pub I was in last night, where a bunch of confused Irish people wondered why this Yank was screaming obscenities into his phone as “Rocky Road to Dublin” played in the background. 

It’s been a rocky road, indeed.

Related Story. NBA Draft big board top 5 for the Pistons. NBA Draft big board top 5 for the Pistons. dark

After some reflection, my mental state hasn’t improved, but I will try to offer some thoughts (with a splash of hope even!) about the Pistons dropping to 5th for the second straight year. 

#1: The Detroit Pistons do not have “bad luck” in the NBA Draft Lottery 

I heard and saw a lot of talk about “bad luck” last night, but I can assure you that’s not the case when it comes to the Pistons and the Draft Lottery. When something that has an 86 percent chance of not happening doesn’t happen, that’s not bad luck, that’s simple math. 

Yes, the Pistons did have a slightly higher statistical chance of landing in the top-four, but it was basically a coin flip that they lost. Ever lost a coin flip? Did you think it was because you are cursed? 

The worst might be the fans who legitimately believe the NBA rigs the outcome. Yes, I am sure a multi-billion dollar organization is going to risk ruin by rigging something just to punish the freaking Detroit Pistons. The Pistons have punished themselves. 

It’s not bad luck, it’s not the league’s fault, this is how the system is supposed to work, which is why tanking is dumb. The Pistons spent years chasing the 8th seed when tanking yielded a much-higher chance of getting the #1 pick, then turned to tanking just as the NBA flattened the odds.

They turned to a proven failed strategy just as that strategy became even more likely to fail. This is organizational malpractice and has nothing to do with luck. 

#2: Do we need the NBA Draft Lottery? 

I hate the Lottery and not just because my team is the Detroit Pistons. Regardless of how low you make the odds, teams are still going to tank as long as there is incentive to do so. 

The NFL manages to have the kind of parity the NBA is chasing without a draft lottery, so I’d much rather see a similar model. Make a real salary cap, give every team the same odds for the top pick and let the financial side sort things out. 

If the best team gets the #1 pick, so be it, as they will have to sacrifice other players to fit the top rookie and stay under the salary ceiling. 

It will never happen, as the NBA Draft Lottery is big business, an event that drives content and engagement while acting as a carrot of hope to the poor donkey fans of the bad teams. 

But we really don't need it and it doesn't stop tanking, as you can bet that some teams are already calculating how many games they'll have to lose next season to have a 14 percent chance at Cooper Flagg.