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Inside the Numbers - Lottery Data

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Mike Zarren is a number cruncher extrodinaire for the Celtics and he released this detailed analysis of the lottery percentages based on the final records of all the teams in the lottery.

For you stat-heads, here's a bit of fun with percentages:

We finished with the second-worst record in the league. Figuring out the overall probability of getting any particular pick is a bit tricky, because the odds in the 2nd and 3rd pick drawings depend on who wins the first drawing (for example, if the worst team, which has 250 combinations assigned to it, wins the 1st pick, we have a 199/750=26.5% chance to win the second pick, but if the 14th-worst team, which has only 5 combinations assigned to it, wins, we have only an 199/995=20.0% chance at the second pick -- and the math gets even more complicated when you start working on the third pick). However, we've done the math, and it turns out that entering the lottery, with 199 combinations, the Celtics have a 19.9% chance of getting the top pick, an 18.8% chance of getting the 2nd pick, and a 17.1% chance of getting the 3rd pick. This means that entering the lottery, we have a 38.7% chance of getting a top 2 pick, and a 55.8% chance of getting a top 3 pick.

See, math can be fun!