LATEST STORIES FROM THE LOTTERY MAFIA

Rookie Report Cards: How are the Young Guns Faring?

What grades do the league’s rookies deserve? Are any of them standing out among their peers? Is Rookie of the Year already decided? Ten days into the season, most NBA players have suited up for a handful of games and shown at least a glimpse of what they have to offer this year. Some have shown the marvelous, from DeMar DeRozan scoring everything to Aaron Gordon unleashing his...
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November 04, 2016  |  Discuss

Joel Embiid is Living up to the Hype, Frank Vogel isn’t Trusting the Process, and Ersan Ilyasova Trade Thoughts

Philadelphia allowed what would have been their first win in October or November since the 2013-14 season to slip away in the final quarter. However, through three games Joel Embiid is exceeding all expectations for the 76ers. When Embiid is out there, the Sixers are can’t-leave-your-seat, must-watch material. When he sits, Philly becomes a glorified NBA D-League team. This much...
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November 02, 2016  |  Discuss

NBA Powerless Rankings: 2017’s Non-Contenders

One week in, the league’s best teams have been on display – but its worst are also playing games. Which 14 teams are the most powerless to make their mark this season? The league’s elite dominate headlines and prime-time matchups, and understandably so. The Golden State Warriors, early speed bumps notwithstanding, are exciting to watch and filled with compelling storylines...
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November 02, 2016  |  Discuss

If I Had a Billion Dollars

Admit it. When the Powerball hits $500 million, you’ve thought about how absurd it would be to take that home – even if, like me, you never buy a lottery ticket. But indulge me for a moment; if you won the lottery and could suddenly buy a lottery team, which team would it be? Now, a lot of this is based on personal preference. As such, there are a few categories that we should...
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November 01, 2016  |  Discuss

Five Intriguing Players (Possibly) Entering the NBADL This Season

Who are some of the more interesting NBADL rookies heading into the 2016-17 season? Not everyone starts their career as a first round pick, or even a young player, strapped to the end of a team’s bench. As the NBA D-League continues to grow and evolve, teams around the league are using it more and more to help groom players and in turn, the league is churning out more talent than...
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October 28, 2016  |  Discuss

Waiting Your Turn: From Sixth Man to Starter

Waiting your turn is a basic concept on the basketball court–recognizing when to stay put for sake of spacing versus when to make a hard cut to the basket–when to curl, fade, or go backdoor coming off a screen– when to open up on defense so a teammate can get through a pick and when to shout out “switch!” Sometimes it isn’t your turn to make a play–at least not yet...
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October 27, 2016  |  Discuss

Timofey Mozgov is L.A.’s X-Factor

The free agent signing that was mocked more than any other this offseason, Timofey Mozgov could help the Lakers escape their status as the worst in the West. After primarily watching the Cavaliers win the title from the bench, perhaps even Mozgov began to doubt his worth on the open market. Here in the new age–where Draymond Green and Tristan Thompson were receiving heavy minutes...
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October 26, 2016  |  Discuss

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the NBA – the Ultimate 2016-2017 Season Preview

Predictions are the best. You only remember the few ones you get right. Everyone else remembers only the ones you get wrong. The offseason is always too long–like some of my writing–and the regular season is always too short–like a Chuck Hayes free throw. But that won’t stop me from stepping up to the line and expecting to nail these 2016-2017 NBA season predictions. Some...
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October 25, 2016  |  Discuss

For a Pacer Team in Transition, a New X-Factor Must Arise

Ultimate glue guy George Hill is gone. Who will pick up the burden as Indiana’s X-factor?  Many would quickly jump to a big name like Monta Ellis, a proven shooter like C.J. Miles, or a high volume scorer and mediocre shot creator like Rodney Stuckey. Personally, I vote none of the above. While Stuckey offers creation and scoring on the offensive end, Jeff Teague and Paul George...
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October 25, 2016  |  Discuss

NBA All-Breakout Team 2017

The Fourteen Lottery Teams from last season are ready to climb out of the cellar. Which young players are going to breakout and help their teams improve? The recipe for being an NBA fan is fairly simple. Purchase enough team apparel to cover every day of the week, tune into every game – including those they stick on NBA TV – and repeatedly inform anyone within ear shot why each...
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October 24, 2016  |  Discuss

Joel Embiid is a Legend in the Making

 The Cameroonian rookie melds Ralph Sampson’s shooting touch with Hakeem Olajuwon’s footwork and Shaq’s sense of humor. It was merely a month ago that The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor provided a detailed look at Joel Embiid before his first preseason NBA game. Now we’re about 100 hours away from his regular season debut. I’ve been comfortably seated on the Embiid train...
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October 22, 2016  |  Discuss

The Road Through the Desert

I own a Charles Barkley jersey. One of those cheap, ultra-retro Champion jerseys. The ones with the screen printed logos, numbers and letters. If this still isn’t ringing a bell, imagine you’re at a Bon Iver or Drake concert and you see all those white dudes in brightly colored sleeveless shirts with big numbers on them that are actually somehow more warm than a regular t-shirt...
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October 20, 2016  |  Discuss

The Detroit Pistons are on the Verge of Rising in the Eastern Conference

Are the Detroit Pistons ready to make a move up the Eastern Conference standings? This post was a thought before the Reggie Jackson injury and will remain a thought as we take the final steps into the season. The injury to Reggie Jackson – out six to eight weeks with a knee injury – will hurt the Pistons to start the season. Jackson serves as the team’s best point guard option...
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October 20, 2016  |  Discuss

Projecting the 2017 Draft: Point Guard Edition

The 2017 NBA Draft has been touted for quite some time as perhaps the deepest collection of elite point guard talent for quite some time. In a league flush with elite playmaking stars such as Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, and Kyrie Irving the teams in the lottery will be looking to close the gap on elite teams that already have these stud PG’s. Here we’ll take a quick...
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October 19, 2016  |  Discuss

Winter is Coming Early in Utah, but the Jazz Look Ready

Utah has undeniable depth at every position, but what kind of impact will Gordon Hayward’s injury have on the Jazz’s early-season success? Can they start establishing themselves as an upper echelon Western Conference squad? Can they begin making that leap without him? The hits don’t stop with Hayward’s left ring finger fracture. Rodney Hood is dealing with a sprained left...
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October 18, 2016  |  Discuss

Justin Anderson is the X-Factor in Big D

For a Dallas Mavericks organization that has (mostly) ignored the NBA Draft since stealing Dirk Nowitzki from Milwaukee in a deal 20 years ago, sophomore Justin Anderson is a ray of hope for both the present and future.  After a ho-hum showing in the regular season, the 21st pick of the 2015 NBA Draft enjoyed a mini-breakout in a short but sweet postseason series against Oklahoma...
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October 16, 2016  |  Discuss

Portland Trail Blazers: Evan Turner Will Have a Big Impact

The Portland Trail Blazers spent a lot of money this offseason retaining the core of last season’s team. Their one major outside move was to bring in Evan Turner. How will the former Celtic impact the team, and can he keep them on an upward swing? Last season no one expected the Portland Trail Blazers to be successful. With four of the five starters on a perennial playoff team...
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October 15, 2016  |  Discuss

For Memphis, JaMychal Green is the X-Factor

It’s rare that a rookie is relied on to play a meaningful role with a squad coming off six straight trips to the postseason, but Wade Baldwin IV seems like he’ll be an exception to the rule for the Grizzlies. Still, JaMychal Green is the X-factor in Memphis. At 6-9 with a 7-2 wingspan, the 26-year-old stretch 4 is getting the starting nod over Zach Randolph as coach David...
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October 13, 2016  |  Discuss

Can Victor Oladipo Make the Leap in Oklahoma City?

Can Victor Oladipo take a step forward as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder? One of the pleasant surprises of the 2016 offseason was the Orlando Magic trading Victor Oladipo. The second overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Oladipo’s career was seen as up and down, even in the last season. Once viewed as the point guard of the future, Oladipo shuffled back to the shooting guard...
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October 12, 2016  |  Discuss

Watching the Worst: Which Lottery Teams are Most Watchable?

Much like a Jedi sensing a disturbance in the force, so too can all basketball fans feel it – the renewal of League Pass subscriptions. Maybe it isn’t league pass: Local Comcast and Fox Sports stations, TNT and ESPN national broadcasts, and the mythical NBA TV games that no one ever sees because no one has NBA TV. One thing is true for all – you can’t watch every game. Don’t...
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October 11, 2016  |  Discuss

A Look at Win Over-Unders for 2016-17

The lines have been set for the NBA season. Listed in order below, the following win-loss projections (Westgate LV, Nylon Calculus, and Bovada.lv) were averaged to provide an over-under for each of the 30 franchises. WARNING: To protect yourself from these hot takes, goggles and gloves are highly recommended. EAST Cleveland (57-25) 56.5, 55, 56.5 (56) Boston (48-34) 51.5, 51,...
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October 11, 2016  |  Discuss

Tyler Johnson is Miami’s X-Factor

Undrafted. Summer League. Waived. D-League bound. On a 10-day contract. Back to the D-League. Another 10-day contract. And finally, Johnson lands a two-year deal with the Heat. After spots of excellence, filling in through Wade’s injuries in 2015, a broken jaw in last year’s Summer League, and a shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the latter half of last season, Tyler Johnson...
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October 10, 2016  |  Discuss

Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker is the X-Factor

The Charlotte Hornets said goodbye to key rotation players this offseason, placing more of the burden on Kemba Walker’s shoulders. Is he up to the challenge? The Charlotte Hornets hit this offseason with the bittersweet taste of success in their mouths. Preseason prognosticators wrote off the Hornets, a team coming off of a 33-win season with an uncertain offseason. Its best...
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October 06, 2016  |  Discuss

Philadelphia 76ers: Déjà Vu, What’s New?

Déjà Vu is the feeling of having already experienced the present situation, and Sixers fans are growing sick of it. “Ben Simmons has surgery on broken right foot” Where have we seen this headline before? “Joel Embiid to miss season after second surgery on right foot” Come again? “Joel Embiid has screws inserted into foot for surgery” And? “Nerlens Noel to miss...
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October 05, 2016  |  Discuss

Clint Capela is Houston’s X-Factor

With the Rockets moving on from the Dwight Howard Era, it’s up to Clint Capela to hold down the fort for Houston on defense. Is he up to the task? Though the big news out of training camp is that James Harden is now being referred to as the point guard on offense, the true test of Houston’s mettle this season will be Capela’s ability to slide his feet on the perimeter...
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October 04, 2016  |  Discuss
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The Lottery Mafia
The Lottery Mafia is a website dedicated to the teams that are destined to end up in the NBA Lottery. We will provide vital information only for lottery bound teams, during the off season it will focus on the NBA draft, Free Agency and potential Break Out players next year.
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