Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Why the NBA Got the Draft Lottery Right by Adopting the NHL Format

The results of the NBA Draft Lottery were not only eye opening but what was exactly what the NBA needed. In fact, this system might have eliminated tanking for the next several years. The Cavs, Suns and Bulls all got stabbed in the back while the Lakers, Grizzlies and Pelicans all embraced the new system to the basketball gods.

This is a very similar system to one that hockey adopted prior to the 2015 NHL Draft. The only difference was they only draw the top three teams and the percentages are a bit off. Since that inaugural draft lottery with that system, there have been many teams in the NHL that have benefited that wouldn't have if the system hadn't changed.

What does this tell us? That both the NHL and NBA have found a method that will eliminate trying to land a franchise player in the upcoming draft. For instance, there is a huge difference this year from picking 1st and 5th and in many years this is the case.

NHL Lottery Draft Results since 2015:






 2019 NBA                  8                                   9                                   1                                  11 
As the NHL draft results have indicated, the ping pong balls have came out all over the place. The worst team has gotten a Top 3 pick three out of five times for a 60% chance. The law of averages is 53%. If you look at the second worst team you have received a Top 3 pick just once. That is 20% with the law of averages being 38% Etc etc.

Fans like to have a knee jerk reaction when something happens in the lottery that doesn't favor their team. The NBA lottery as mentioned above is slightly different in that the percentages are different and they have four draws. 

The reality is, these draws have to be conducted 1000's of times to have the law of averages even out. If it were me, I would have 14 draws to see how far teams could really fall but from the data that has been collected, it is easy to see why this works. There is no pattern and impossible to predict. Exactly what the NBA wanted.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Great Britain Back in IIHF's Top Flight Division

It's been 25 years since Great Britain has been playing at the top level of the IIHF hockey championships. While Team GB might not have a long history of hockey, they do hold one claim to fame that Russia, Sweden or anybody else can't.

If you do into a sports bar anywhere in the world, you might be able to win lots of money with one simple question. Who was the first country other than Canada to win Olympic Gold? The year was 1936 and Olympics were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Canada came into the tournament as overwhelming favorites as they had won Olympic Gold on the last three occasions. This tournament was different however, Great Britain was able to play good defensively as they outscored their opponents 19-4 in eight games.

The catch is, there were Canadians on that team because of Canada's forced participation WW I. This resulted in an increased interest in hockey that resulted in a 1936 Gold.

Since WW II there has been a steady decline in British hockey. A 4th place finish at the 1950 World Championship is the last significant result. The last time they were playing in the top tier was 1994 when they finished dead last which resulted in there relegation.

They were promoted last year when they won their group. This gave them promotion back to the top level where they will be playing the likes of Canada, USA and Finland. Getting out of the group stage would be a miracle but not getting relegated isn't impossible. Beating France might be their best chance.

Here is the schedule for Group A which is the easier of the two groups:

United States  Slovakia
11 May 2019
Denmark  France
Germany  Great Britain
Slovakia  Finland
12 May 2019
United States  France
Denmark  Germany
Great Britain  Canada
13 May 2019
United States  Finland
Slovakia  Canada
14 May 2019
Great Britain  Denmark
Germany  France
15 May 2019
United States  Great Britain
Germany  Slovakia
16 May 2019
Canada  France
Finland  Denmark
17 May 2019
France  Slovakia
Finland  Great Britain
18 May 2019
Denmark  United States
Canada  Germany
Great Britain  Slovakia
19 May 2019
Germany  United States
France  Finland
20 May 2019
France  Great Britain
Canada  Denmark
21 May 2019
Finland  Germany
Slovakia  Denmark
Canada  United States