Saturday, April 8 – Celtics at Hornets
Pregame – Celtics Clinch Best Odds at No. 1 Pick
CHARLOTTE – The Boston Celtics secured one of their biggest victories of the season Friday night without even stepping foot on a court.
With the Phoenix Suns’ win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Brooklyn Nets clinched the NBA’s worst record and the highest odds to earn this summer’s top draft pick.
The Celtics, of course, own Brooklyn’s first-round draft pick, which they gained during the summer of 2013 by way of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade.
The order of selections for June’s draft will be determined on May 16 during the NBA Draft Lottery. Boston can fall no lower than fourth in the draft order and has a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick.
The last time Boston had the top overall pick was 17 NBA championships ago. In 1950, the C’s drafted Chuck Share with the No. 1 pick, though he was traded one day after the draft for future Hall-of-Famer Bill Sharman.
By earning the best odds at this year’s top pick, Boston finds itself in a very unique situation. Typically, teams that are high in the lottery are coming off of mediocre seasons, but the Celtics are having one of the best campaigns in the league.
They are currently just one game behind Cleveland for the top record in the East with three contests remaining in the regular season. This means Boston could hypothetically land the top seed in the East and the No. 1 draft pick.
That is unheard of.
For now, however, Boston’s players and coaches aren’t concerned about next month’s lottery. Unlike most other lottery-bound teams, the C’s still have plenty to play for, so they’re focused on tonight’s game in Charlotte, and tonight’s game only.
First and foremost, the Celtics are chasing the No. 1 seed in the East. They’ll worry about the other No. 1 in 37 days when the ping-pong balls fall at the Draft Lottery.
– Taylor C. Snow